I’m lucky at my 9-5 gig to be sat right next to floor to ceiling glass windows. They wrap the entire building and for spare but a few unlucky coders with desks in the middle of our floor, everyone mostly enjoys the same light and airy aspect.
Before working here I’d never really known the joys of natural sunlight shining down on me as I typed away ravenously ready to charge through to my next deadline. It’s something that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go work without now. In the four office jobs I’ve had in my short career thus far in five different offices, none has kept me in a sunnier in disposition than this current one. I
t’s likely a reflection of the type of work I’m doing now compared to what I did in past roles, but sunlight has undoubtedly contributed to the positive vibes too.
There are plenty of scientific studies from the likes of Oxford University and a quick Google search will reveal all the scholarly texts you need when it comes to understanding why it’s worthwhile lighting up your day to lighten up your life. But instead of diving into this world of science in which I wouldn’t even know where to begin to understand, I’ve decided to share with you the real, everyday benefits that sunlight can have in the workplace and how this can impact your productivity.
Natural vs. Artificial
Light Staring at a computer screen all day isn’t natural. Being slumped over in a wheelie chair isn’t natural. Plugging away at a keyboard isn’t natural. And emailing people instead of talking to them definitely isn’t natural. But most of us do these things every day. Unless a complete career change and social isolation are on the cards for you, this is probably not a choice. However how we light the places that we do these things can be. Skylights, windows and glass doors provide great ways to add natural light and a natural element to what is, for the majority, a rather artificial existence.
Whether you’re after Sydney skylights, roof windows in Melbourne or anything else in between, in our hot Australian summers, sunlight is actually a great way of regulating temperatures. That doesn’t necessarily mean exposing your workspace to direct light or baking away under UV rays on 30 degree days. But it does mean being able to open up your home or office and letting nature take its course. Cool breezes and shifting shadows bring the outside in whilst keeping things cool and comfortable while you work away.
Take note of all of the windows in your current environment. Now imagine that they’re all blacked out, replaced by walls. How much smaller does the room seem? Lighting not only serves a utilitarian purpose of illumination, but is also one of the oldest design tricks in the book. It gives the illusion of more space, open space and positive space. Good lighting and natural sunlight can really open up a work place.
Lastly, light can play a bigger role in promoting worker happiness. In winter you might wake up before the sun and finish your day with but a few minutes of daylight left. That can get pretty depressing pretty quickly, which is why sunlight is a crucial part of any working day. It not only allows you to enjoy the day from your desk but reminds you that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel! Or in some cases, in the roof!
This post was written with support from Belle Skylights.