Balancing Natural Light and Privacy in the Workplace
Did you know that natural light - sunlight - is critical to the health and well-being of you and your employees?
"Ensuring that we receive adequate light levels at the appropriate time of day benefits our alertness, mood, productivity, sleep patterns, and many aspects of our physiology."
Mood: According to WebMD Medical News, our mood is influenced by a number of factors, including serotonin levels, which increase when we are exposed to light. Just 15 to 20 minutes in natural light each day can make a huge difference.
Sleep Patterns: Natural light influences our circadian system, which regulates our patterns of alertness and sleepiness. Without regular exposure to light, a person’s sleep–wake cycle can vary by as many as two hours per day.
Productivity: A study conducted by the American Society of Interior Design indicated that 68 percent of office workers complained about the lighting situation in their offices, primarily the abundance of artificial fluorescent lighting, and how it negatively affected their productivity.
“The extent to which daylight exposure impacts office workers is remarkable,” explains Ivy Cheung, a Neuroscience doctoral candidate at Northwestern University. “Day-shift office workers’ quality of life and sleep may be improved via emphasis on light exposure and lighting levels in current offices as well as in the design of future offices.”
Of course, just leaving the windows open isn’t really an option either. Whether it’s a typical office environment, a warehouse, a law office, or even a doctor’s office, privacy must also be taken into consideration.
"I cherish my privacy, and woe betide anyone who tries to interfere with that."
The Answer: Reevaluate your window treatments. Next Day Blinds offers several blinds and shades that can optimize both natural light and privacy. Our Solar Shades feature a “vinyl mesh which is available in varying degrees of ‘open-ness,’” explains interior designer Mike Strutt. “The more open they are, the more light they let in, and the more you can see through (both in and out).” Next Day Blinds’ 5% solar shades are able to block 95% of visible light. Another option is Top Down, Bottom Up Shades, also known as duofold shades. These window treatments give users the option of opening the shades from the bottom up (the traditional method), or from the top down. The latter allows users to permit natural light to enter a room without giving up any privacy.