A positive and healthy working environment in modern office buildings is reliant on on several factors, including the company that an employee works for, the comradery in the office, and if the office design allows for sufficient amounts of natural light to enter the workspace throughout the day.
Advantages of natural light in workplace
Increased natural light in the workplace benefits both the physical and mental health of employees. There is a sense of disconnect between employees and the outside world when their offices rely too much on artificial lighting as opposed to natural light as a primary source of illumination. Numerous scientific studies show that natural light offers the following benefits:
Mental health benefits
Natural light improves employee productivity due to its restorative effect on sleep and vitality. The body’s circadian rhythm, which dictates sleep-wake cycles and hormone release, is affected by environmental factors, including natural light. With less natural light, employees are more likely to suffer the consequences of disrupted circadian rhythms, which include sleep disorders, depression, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Physical health benefits
Natural lighting reduces eye strain, which is important considering employees spend much of their day looking at computer screens, which is itself a cause of eye strain. Furthermore, exposure to natural light provides vitamin D, a vital vitamin to balance the immune system and prevent illnesses during the cold winter months.
Avoiding The Risk of UV Exposure
The benefits of natural light calls for increased use of glass windows and reduced artificial lighting in high-rise offices. However, UV exposure, in particular from UVA rays, is still possible through ordinary glass windows. While glass windows will block the more harmful UVB rays, UVA rays can contribute to a host of serious health issues.
Companies located in high-rise office buildings naturally should be thinking about implementing a design that provides more natural light, due to its positive benefits on productivity and employee well-being. But how can companies balance this with the risk of UV damage?
Companies can also receive the productivity and wellness benefits of natural light without compromising on employee health by incorporating solar control glass into the building design. Solar smart glass, is a unique switchable glass technology that allows users to precisely control the amount light and heat passing through the window.
Benefits of Solar Control Glass
- Special interlayers in solar smart glass windows can absorb UV rays, protecting employees from possible UV damage while providing the natural light they require to flourish in their work.
- Regulation of thermal transmittance through the glass, meaning employees can benefit from the light entering the building without getting too warm.
- Solar smart glass can be altered to control the glare from the sun, protecting employees from eye damage while still ensuring enough natural light enters the office building.
In summary, natural light is imperative in the modern workplace, bringing with it a range of health benefits and employee performance improvements that just aren’t feasible in an office that relies on artificial lighting as its primary light source.
Any office design solution that incorporates natural light as a primary light source must also involve protecting employees from harmful UV rays. Solar control glass is a practical solution to the problem of providing sufficient natural light and its host of benefits while simultaneously protecting employees from UVA exposure.
Visit the Smartglass International website to learn more about solar smart glass, a unique switchable glass solution.