FAQ

Link Between Office Productivity and Window Treatments

How do you ensure your employees are satisfied and productive? It all starts with your office environment.


A recent survey by office furniture retailer Steelcase and research firm Ipsos found that 89 percent of workers were not satisfied with their work environment. And when employees are unsatisfied, productivity suffers. Conversely, happy employees are productive employees. According to a study by Bright Horizons, employees with high morale are 89 percent more likely put in extra effort and extra hours at work.

So, as an employer, how do you ensure your employees are satisfied and productive? It all starts with your office environment.

Office Lighting

A study conducted by the American Society of Interior Design indicated that 68 percent of employees complain about the lighting situation in their offices. Artificial fluorescent lighting can make it difficult for the eyes to focus, causing eye strain and even migraine headaches. Yikes! So, natural light is the obvious answer, right? Well, yes and no. Natural light is great. It illuminates a room. It warms a room. And it just improves your mood. Too much natural light, however, can be a bad thing, especially in an office setting.

As technology becomes an increasingly integral part of the business world, computers have become a necessity. Everything we do revolves around computers. So, when glare begins to affect your ability to work, that’s a real problem.

Now, there are two types of glare:

  • Disability Glare: This is where the light comes from above and reflects off of what you are working from. In this case, your computer screen.
  • Discomfort Glare: This is where light coming from the side is brighter than what you are looking at (computer screen). This makes it difficult for your eyes to focus on the screen.

Both types of glare can cause eye fatigue, headaches, and decreased productivity.

Office Temperature

Believe it or not, office temperature directly affects productivity. According to a Cornell University study conducted by psychological scientist Alan Hedge, employee productivity is at its highest when employees are warmer. According to Hedge, those observed typed at 100 percent with a 10 percent error rate at 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Conversely, when the temperature dropped below 68 degrees or climbed above 82 degrees, typing rates plummeted, error rates rose to 25 percent, and time wasting increased 10 percent.

“The results of our study also suggest raising the temperature to a more comfortable thermal zone saves employers about $2 per worker, per hour,” says Hedge.

Overall, Hedge and colleagues estimate that companies could save up to 12.5 percent of their wage costs per worker by raising the temperature just a few degrees.

How Window Treatments Play a Role

When it comes to choosing the right window treatments for your office, you need blinds or shades that not only look great, but are also affordable, durable, and easy to maintain, with just the right amount of light control. This is why we recommend Roller Shades. These window treatments act like “sunglasses” for your windows, cutting glare, minimizing heat gain, and improving visibility all at the same time. That’s what we like to call a win-win.

“The material is usually 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).” For example, Next Day Blinds’ 5% solar shades are able to block 95% of visible light. This not only helps minimize glare, but also better regulate office temperature.  Solar shades reflect solar heat, keeping your interior cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Over time, this could end up saving you some serious money on any energy costs.