Light Pollution in the Workplace
Environmental productivity refers to the science of how different aspects of a workspace – such as ambient temperature, background noise, and light sources – augment or detract from the amount of work you get done. Two key factors of environmental productivity that are particularly relevant to window films are light and warmth.
Adding natural light to a workspace will increase the level of wakefulness and attentiveness of the people within, which has a tremendous impact on productivity.
Natural Light and Alertness
No matter how much artificial light is added to a minimally windowed workspace, lack of natural light seriously impacts workers’ alertness, and therefore has a negative effect on their productivity. The sleep inducing affects of a sun-deprived day are particularly apparent during the afternoon, when workers may experience the dreaded “4pm slump”. Adding natural light to a workspace will increase the level of wakefulness and attentiveness of the people within, which has a tremendous impact on productivity.
Is it Cold in Here?
Differences in temperature as little as 5 degrees Celsius have a “clear association” to an incredible 44% increase in mistakes, according to a Cornell University study (the study examined the difference in errors made between workplaces kept at 20 and 25 degrees celsius). The impact of ambient temperature of indoor workspaces over productivity is astounding.
The productivity-sapping effect of the cold is due to the way it distracts workers from their allocated tasks: in a cold environment, the energy required for the body to keep itself warm is taken away from the energy it could otherwise spend focusing.
How to Maximize Light and Temperature
- Workers should try to align their sleep cycle with the sun – waking closer to sunrise and going to sleep closer to sunset – so they can take full advantage of the health benefits of sunshine.
- Station a space heater at worker’s desks. This will give them better control over their personal comfort, therefore helping them focus.
- Lensed and indirect lighting more closely replicates natural light, and can help minimize the effects of being cooped up inside for long periods.
- If you keep your windows shuttered for privacy or glare concerns, consider getting professionally installed window films. The correct window film enables you to flood your workspace with natural light, while allowing you to retain optimal levels of brightness and privacy.