What’s the Most Valued Office Perk? Not What You Expect.
Forget nap pods and trendy coffee machines – there’s really only one perk that employees want. According to a study by commercial real estate and investment firm CBRE, the best perk comes from nature: natural lighting.
Views of the outdoors and natural light were the most valued perks at an office, with 53% saying views of the outdoors is the most valued perk. CBRE reports:
Employees place the highest value on natural light and views, which were well above amenities like fitness centers and game rooms. Although employees place the highest value on natural light and views, there are also areas that employees reported being the most dissatisfied within their current environments.
The importance of natural light goes beyond simple preference: it’s biologically beneficial as well.
The Benefits of Natural Light
According to NCSU, natural light offers the following key benefits:
Natural light boosts your body’s vitamin D storage
Vitamin D is important for absorbing calcium and promoting bone growth, as well as helping prevent certain types of cancers, heart disease, depression and weight gain. Yet, many Americans have a vitamin D deficiency due to a lack of outdoor sun exposure. So get outside since scientists suggest that Vitamin D may be helpful in treating many different disorders and diseases, such as autism, cancer, diabetes, chronic pain and depression.
Natural light leads to higher productivity
A study by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology found that employees working in natural light recorded higher levels of energy than those working under artificial light. Another study showed 40 percent higher sales at checkout counters located beneath skylights. This data confirms what many studies have shown: natural light leads to enhanced productivity.
Natural light benefits vision
Computer screens, smart phones, and fluorescent light can cause eye strain that can lead to permanent eye damage. Natural light has been shown to lower the risk of nearsightedness in children and young adults by helping the eye produce dopamine, which aids in healthy eye development.
Natural light helps you sleep
Research shows that the amount of sunlight you receive during the day has a direct impact on how much sleep you get at night. Direct sunlight, especially early in the morning for at least half an hour, produces the most benefit for a good night’s sleep while artificial lighting has little to no effect. In fact, artificial light before bed and at night can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer if you’re unable to consistently obtain quality sleep.
Natural light improves your mood
Did you know that there is a type of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder, which affects many people in the winter when they do not receive enough sunlight? Scientists believe that the “happy” hormone called serotonin increases when nights are short and days are long. In fact, many psychiatrists recommend that people get out in the sunlight for at least 30 minutes a day to help prevent or treat depression.
How Windows Influence Employee Satisfaction
Commercial windows influence an employee’s comfort in two key ways: lighting and warmth. Choosing the correct window for your building is key to influencing your building’s lighting and thermal comfort. Contact us today to find out what window is right for your business needs.