A Harvard Business Review (HBR) story, “The #1 Office Perk? Natural Light” by Jeanne Meister says that employees care more about health and wellbeing than they do about concierge services or free lunch. What is one of the key elements of health and wellbeing? Daylight.
The HBR story cites several sources, including a survey by their own HR advisory firm, Future Workplace, called “The Employees Experience”, which reveals that employees want more natural light.
Another study by Cornell University Professor Dr. Alan Hedge backs up the employee-natural light connection with research that found optimization of natural light in an office improves health and wellness among workers. In fact, this research revealed that workers in daylight office environments reported a 51 percent drop in the incidence of eyestrain, a 63 percent drop in the incidence of headaches and a 56 percent reduction in drowsiness.
What can employers do in office environments to bring more daylight in? Most offices have limited opportunities to bring in natural light and employees spend their time in spaces which are the opposite of the healthy environments these studies tell us we should be providing for employees through more natural light.
One company that is determined to promote wellbeing through daylighting is Solatube International. Solatube is a manufacturer and marketer of tubular daylighting devices (TDDs).
Daylighting with TDDs is a way to light up any interior space without having to use electrical lighting, thus keeping the lights turned off during the day. TDDs are daylighting systems that start with a dome at the roof which harvests daylight, with reflective tubes that run from rooftop to ceiling, around ductwork, and more, to flood the interior space with natural light.
By using a renewable resource, daylighting systems are able to harness the sun’s rays and help build a sustainable future. They are also able to impact employees’ senses of health and wellbeing, thus changing their everyday experience in the workplace.