You could argue that we take natural light for granted. It is there, and we certainly appreciate it, but when you break it down, it is astounding how much it benefits us. So, what is natural light and how does it benefit us so greatly? In the workplace the benefits of natural light are numerous, and cannot be understated. In this article we are going to take a closer look at how natural light in the workplace benefits a company and its workforce.
What Is Natural Light?
It is first important to get some simple terms defined so we can delve deeper. So, what is natural light exactly? Simply put, it is light that is received during daylight hours and is generated naturally. The most obvious and common source of this form of light is the sun which is why windows and bespoke rooflights are so important. On the other hand, artificial lighting is produced from lamps and other lights.
Not only does natural light have its benefits for us (general well being, health, mood), but it stands to benefit the natural world. In fact, it is crucial: without natural light, plants would not be able to photosynthesise. If you continue to read, we explore the overall benefits of natural light in greater depth.
The Overall Benefits of Natural Light
We have relied on natural light for all of our history. Meaning, natural light has benefitted us for a very long time. The invention of artificial lighting has progressed society greatly, but it also has its setbacks.
We need natural light for countless reasons: from mood regulation to productivity and focus. Going further, natural light is essential in nature and supports the environment around us. Below are some of the principal benefits.
Natural light helps our body produce Vitamin D. In recent years, health care professionals have made great strides in creating supplements that provide our bodies with what they need. Relying on supplementation too much, however, comes with its own problems. Receiving vitamins from natural sources is far superior.
Vitamin D itself is vitally important for our growth and overall health. By receiving enough Vitamin D, our bones and muscles remain healthy and we are better equipped to fight disease. Without it, calcium and phosphorus cannot build bones.
Psychological Well Being
You only need to consider the rise in disorders such as SAD to appreciate the importance of natural light. Although no definitive cause has been outlined, researchers strongly suspect that SAD is a result of shorter days and less daylight during the winter months. Without natural light, we are more likely to feel depressed and stressed (in some cases). Clearly, having access to sunlight is a huge benefit to us.
Productivity and Focus
In recent years, researchers have made a strong case for natural light improving productivity and focus. This makes sense. If we are less prone to psychological stresses, and our body has what it needs to grow properly, we are likely to be able to focus correctly. This is particularly the case in the workplace (detailed below). It is theorised that natural light is able to improve focus, efficiency and helps people combat illness. In the workplace, that is invaluable.
Body Clock and Sleep
You may have heard the term circadian rhythm, but what is it? The circadian rhythm is ‘a natural internal process that regulates the sleep–wake cycle and repeats roughly every 24 hours’. Our circadian rhythm needs light to align itself with the external world. If your internal body clock is correctly aligned, you will have better and restorative sleep.
These are just some of the ways that natural light benefits us overall. There are many more examples that could be included. Essentially, sunlight is vital and supports the healthy development of humans.
The Benefits of Natural Light in the Workplace
A lot of the benefits of natural light we experience day to day may help us most at work. As we know from the above points, natural light is important to a company’s workforce. A vast majority of us spend a great deal of time in the office. Therefore, having plenty of natural light in the office is certainly something to strive for. Some of the key benefits of natural light in the workplace include:
Utility Bills Decrease
By having plenty of natural light in the office, employers are likely to experience a decrease in utility bills. Think about it, having to rely heavily on artificial lighting is going to result in a large electric bill. In larger offices, this may be even more extensive.
Improvement of Brand Image
Generally, a company’s office is a reflection of themselves and their brand. If a client visits an office that has limited natural lighting and relies heavily on artificial lighting, this is unlikely to make a great impression. Offices that enjoy lots of natural light may, therefore, improve the image you project to your client base.
Happier and More Productive Workers
As discussed, people tend to be happier if they are able to experience natural light on a day to day basis. We can consider the benefits of natural light as a sort of domino effect. People who have access to natural sunlight are happier, and happier people are more productive. More productive people increase revenue, and the quality of a business’s work and/or products increases. When you begin to break the concept down, you can appreciate how important workers having access to sunlight daily really is.
Similarly to the last point, a workforce that is unwell cannot make positive contributions towards the company. If your staff are routinely unwell, the quality of your product or work will undoubtedly decrease. Natural light is said to help us maintain our health. Quite simply, a workforce that is healthy is one that is going to propel a company forward.
Helping You Reap the Benefits of Natural Light
The team at Lonsdale Metal sincerely hope you enjoyed our article tackling the question ‘what is natural light’ and outlining why it is important. As patent glazing and rooflight specialists, with years of experience in the industry, we certainly appreciate the importance of sunlight. For more information on our services, visit our Contact Us page and fill out a contact form. We will be happy to discuss our range of products and how we can best support your renovation ambitions.