How Offices near Gatwick Benefit from Natural Light

Despite the fact that humans thrive on natural light, we have over the years created a society in which we spend much of our day indoors where access to it is limited. But natural light is something that employees want and need at work. When looking at the most workforce-friendly offices, near Gatwick or anywhere else in the UK, the amount of natural light available and how it can be maximised has become a crucial consideration. Here we explore why that is, and how natural light brings a range of advantages to employees and buildings alike.

Exposure to the right amount of natural light is known to have a considerably positive influence on health and well-being, both inside and outside of the workplace.

A 2018 study by Cornell University revealed that common ailments such as eye strain, headaches and blurred vision are reduced by 84 per cent once controlled daylight is introduced into an office. And a 2019 study by Future Workplace identified that a third of workers surveyed considered comfortable light important for their daily health, rating lighting as the second most important well-being related feature of the workplace after air quality.

Natural light has been linked to improved focus, efficiency, and less illness with reduced sickness leave. Research indicates that the advantages of daylight exposure at work included, amongst other things, improved morale, and an increased ability to remember numbers backwards. Here are a few more benefits to natural light exposure.

1. Improved sleep

Workers exposed to natural light during the day sleep longer and better at night than those who aren’t exposed to natural light. Those working next to windows receive 176 percent more white light exposure, which means they can enjoy 46 minutes of extra sleep.

Because when we sleep better, we work better, a good night’s sleep is essential. Natural light plays an important role here by keeping our body clocks in sync.

Our circadian rhythms are important. They’re what our bodies use to coordinate the likes of digestion and cell regeneration. A studycarried out by doctors at the Harvard School of Medicine stated that our circadian rhythms must be ‘reset on a daily basis in order to remain in synchrony with external environmental time’, and that ‘regular exposure to light and darkness’ was key to this.

2. Enhanced well-being

The benefits of natural light don’t just influence our physical well-being, but also our mental health and overall mood. A lack of daylight can make us feel depressed and anxious, and the significance of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in the UK says a lot about the importance of daylight to our mental well-being and how it is proven to reduce levels of agitation and stress.

3. Improved productivity

The connection between natural light and vitamin D is well known. Vitamin D can promote enhanced health in various ways, for example by fighting pain, diabetes and depression.

Healthier workers are happier workers who feel better engaged and more likely to stay focused on the task at hand. What’s more, they are more inclined to collaborate and share ideas with other team members, leading to better productivity and success for the business.

4. Healthier buildings

Natural light can actually improve energy efficiency. Because lighting accounts for a significant volume of total energy usage and can be responsible for around a third of the total energy bill of a commercial property, making use of natural light will help to reduce consumption.

Installing large windows, glass doors and partitions may involve an initial outlay, but will deliver savings in the long run as daylight takes over from artificial light.

Heating is another factor. Choosing the right thermal glazing products can lead to solar gain, which can have quite an effect on heating bills as the interior climate is naturally maintained.

How to get natural light into the office?

Powered by Internet of Things (IoT) technology and a sensor network, smart workspace booking systems can show what’s free and where. In addition, they deliver helpful information such as the features offered by each room or workspace and whether they have recently been sanitised and are ready for use.

The systems also flag up when rooms or spaces are ready for cleaning, allowing operatives to be called upon automatically.

When combined with other smart building features, for example visitor management systems, contactless access control and refreshment ordering, the whole process of work and meeting space management becomes conveniently automated. Limiting booking volumes for specific sized spaces is particularly useful after the pandemic to meet distancing guidelines and make staff feel safe.