Lighting has a huge impact on employee morale and the overall productivity of your business. As per the Harvard Business Review, 47% of employees interviewed for a research study expressed tiredness due to lack of natural lighting, whereas 43% found the environment downright gloomy.
A simple and obvious fix for this, of course, is letting in some natural light or sunlight.
In fact, an additional benefit of natural light is that it is one of the key components for an up and coming office design approach: Biophilic design.
What is that you ask?
Simply put, this type of design includes the incorporation of natural components such as plants, daylight, and water elements into your interior décor.
Not only does designing your office to be more biophilic help leave a lasting impression on anyone who visits, but it also keeps your employees physically and mentally fit – just think of all the pure oxygen and other health benefits that they’ll get.
So, how can you structure your workspace to include more natural lighting?
Here are five features you can incorporate into your design:
Use Glass Walls Wherever Possible
Interior walls built to collect and disperse light rather than restrict it are a great solution for letting in natural light.
A good example of a material these walls can be made of is glass.
Not only would incorporating glass walls into your office’s structural design make it look modern and sleeker, but it will also guarantee that your office never sees a dark day.
While using glass as a supporting structure isn’t recommended, it can basically be incorporated in any internal walls, especially those that partition different areas. This ensures that any light coming in from the outside reaches those dark nooks where there are no windows.
A good idea is to use patterned films on the lower portion of the wall to ensure employee safety – you wouldn’t want anyone to walk right into it thinking that it’s an open space.
Don’t Barricade Exterior Walls With Private Offices
If you put too many walls up between the source of light – windows – and the rest of the work space, it will make it increasingly difficult for natural light to reach everyone.
Design your space in a way that there are more open spaces instead of walled off cubicles and provide ample number of windows that open externally to flood your main areas with daylight.
Keep Your Design Minimal
We can’t emphasize this enough: do not overstuff your space with furniture.
No matter how large your main area may be or how many windows open into it, if it is filled with heavy furniture then no amount of light will do it any good. Not only will this be overwhelming for anyone who sees or occupies the space, but it will also hinder light dispersion.
If you require additional storage space, use stylish low height filing cabinets and lockers that can be placed against walls – they provide ample room to stack documents without dominating the room and are well below window height.
Make Your Surfaces Shine
Installing mirrors in your office is a great interior décor strategy. In addition to making rooms look bigger, it is also a quick hack to maximize the reach of daylight indoors.
If your building is already designed in a way that limits the entry of light – less windows, too many walls, or surrounded by other buildings – then options like remodeling or switching spaces can be very costly and an unnecessary hassle.
A cheaper alternative is to make the most of whatever light you already are getting – this is known as the borrowed light principle.
Of course, there’s a limit to how many mirrors you can put up in a professional environment. Worry not! Reflective surfaces work just as well as mirrors do.
You can incorporate these surfaces in your choice of furniture, wall color, ceiling panels etc. and help light bounce throughout the room more effectively.
Try Using An Imitation Skylight
If you still feel there isn’t enough natural light for your liking no matter what you do, you can always opt for artificial light sources that give the illusion of daylight.
An innovative new idea for such lighting are imitation skylights; these not only give the illusion of sunlight, but also provide the same benefits as natural light – no more flickering fluorescent bulbs!
This is also one of the main reasons why these fake natural lights are slowly becoming a favorite design feature for architects.
With a more biophilic design, your employees will have a sense of being in touch with the real world. This also does wonders for the overall look of your workspace, and leaves a lasting impression on prospective employees and clients alike.
Want to incorporate elements of biophilic design in your office? Streamline Resource Group has a team of experts who can design your work area in a way that maximizes productivity, and promotes the mental and physical health of your employees.