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Working in an office with no natural light can have devastating effects on both employee wellbeing and company outcome. Ranging from physical symptoms – like headache and eye strain – to mental and emotional issues, the lack of natural light in office settings is something that should be addressed sooner rather than later.

The good news is that there are many ways to improve the presence of natural light in office settings. From minor decor choices to more significant and long-lasting improvements to the office layout, managers are encouraged to find the right changes that will work best for their team.

The changes are worth it! With so many negative risks associated with working in an office with no natural light, having sufficient natural light may be a key make-or-break detail for some companies.

Natural Light is Important for a Healthy, Functional Office Setting

Research shows that the presence of natural light is a positive detail in any work setting, including home offices and massive corporate headquarters. Day to day office operations run more smoothly when employees feel supported with functional, feel-good spaces to focus on their tasks.

In fact, a recent study that surveyed approximately 7,000 office workers revealed that a hefty 80% recognize the importance of having sufficient lighting in their workspace. Forward-thinking companies have taken note, and lighting has become a noticeable priority during office remodeling projects and new office building designs.

Negative Effects of Working in an Office with No Natural Light

While it’s clear that the presence of natural light can make a significant difference to the office landscape, what does this mean for offices that haven’t yet caught up? Here are some of the specific risk factors to look out for when working in an office with no natural light.

Employee Mental Health Concerns

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a recognized condition that can bring down mood, confidence, and motivation for individuals who aren’t receiving enough daily exposure to sunlight. While it’s often associated with a natural change in weather and sometimes referred to as “the winter blues,” a lack of natural light in an office can produce similar effects on employee mental health that can ultimately affect employee satisfaction, emotional wellbeing, and job performance.

Eye Strain and Headaches

Headaches, a burning sensation, and general soreness are the most common symptoms of eye strain, which can take a toll on employees who are working in an office with no natural light. Artificial lighting tends to be harsh and/or inconsistent, which can exacerbate these symptoms. Light bulbs that flicker or burn too brightly can also trigger eye strain and headaches.

Poor Air Quality

With no natural light, office plants have a hard time thriving. Indoor plants are both an aesthetic feature and a practical way of improving indoor air quality in office settings. It’s easy to make the connection: the poorer the natural light, the poorer the air quality in the office.

Reduced Focus and Productivity

Natural light tends to be softer on the senses and it creates a temporal connection that’s essential for employees to feel good and be able to focus throughout the day. Harsh artificial lighting can compromise long-term focus and weaken alertness, which can impact job performance and satisfaction.

Discourages Collaboration

All the negative effects of an office without natural light are compounded and can affect the energy of the entire team. When energy levels are low and employees are dealing with eye strain and other forms of fatigue, it can affect their willingness to collaborate and work together efficiently.

3 Ways to Fix an Office without Natural Light

There are many different ways to address the lack of natural light in office settings. Here are 3 variations to consider. Find the best solution for your team – or implement all 3 to optimize results!

1. Glass Walls

Glass walls and windows adding light to an office

Glass wall systems are excellent for creating clear and distinct work zones that allow natural light to filter throughout the floor. Soundproof and stylish, glass walls and doors are an ideal feature of modern offices. At PurOptima, we offer an array of high-quality, low-carbon options for offices both big and small.

2. New Window Treatments

Sometimes a simple swap of window treatments can give the office a boost in natural light. Avoid thick curtains with dark colors or drapes that cover parts of the windows. Instead, opt for sustainable window blinds that can be modified to allow more or less natural light throughout the day.

3. Reflective Mirrors as Decor

Another simple solution is to overhaul the interior design so that it includes more reflective furniture and mirrors. Not only do wall mirrors reflect natural light and brighten the space, they can also help office lobbies and corridors feel larger and more welcoming.

A Stylish Solution for Improving Natural Light in the Office

Office room surrounded by glass

Glass walls and partitions are a beautiful way to improve the office ambiance. Increasing natural light, providing acoustic privacy , and reflecting a distinct style. Our glass wall systems can help transform an office with no natural light into an illuminated space that supports and promotes employee wellbeing and productivity.

Contact us today to explore a variety of stylish, low-carbon glass walls and doors to improve the natural light in your office and enhance your workspace!

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