Absence of natural light hurts the employee experience

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Exposure to natural light and a view ranks higher than other office perks such as cafeterias, fitness centres, medical care and even childcare, according to the Employee Experience Study.

The study, conducted by Future Workplace, an HR advisory and research firm, and View, a manufacturer of smart glass, revealed that a majority of employees want access to natural light and views because this improves their overall happiness and well-being. Seventy-three percent said access to natural light and views contributed to work satisfaction and 70 per cent see it as a positive factor towards performance.

“While treadmill desks and nap pods sometimes get a lot of hype, the study clearly found that essential things such as optimized natural light and views are the most impactful and valued office perks,” said Jeanne Meister, founding partner of Future Workplace.

Over a third of the 1,614 respondents across the U.S. and Canada queried in the survey feel they don’t get enough sunlight in the workplace. 43 per cent reported feeling gloomy as a result of the lack of light and 47 per cent admitted they felt tired from the absence of natural light or a window at their office.

Over half of employees say that prolonged screen-use leads to eyestrain or headaches at work. As eyestrain rises in the modern workplace so too does the desire for employees to take a visual break from their technology devices such as taking a walk or glancing at the view outside.

“As companies increasingly strive to make their employees work better and be healthier, placing them in office spaces with the optimal amount of natural light should be their first priority,” said Dr. Brandon Tinianov, vice-president of industry strategies at View.

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