Why is it important to have windows at your office?

Columbus Chamber
The Columbus Chamber provides connections, resources and solutions that help small businesses and Fortune 500 enterprises grow Central Ohio's economy.

Member Insights by Continental Blinds

Light and dark, the sun and moon, night and day. These are the things that dictate our 24-hour daily cycle of sleeping and waking, working and resting. Dark environments such as casinos are designed for you to lose track of time in the constant artificial light. If your office functions this way, your employees could suffer serious health effects from your lack of office windows. Windows also allow for daylighting which reduces your reliance on electricity and can positively impact your power bills.

It’s a well-known fact that sunlight can improve mood which in turn can affect performance at work. If you want your employees to be happy and productive, make sure they work near the office windows. Sunshine can fight depression and increase mental health. Social functioning and cooperation are high amongst workers who have access to windows at work.

Circadian rhythms dictate our sleeping and waking periods. Long exposure to artificial light can throw off these patterns and cause sleepiness. Instead of opting for a new coffeemaker, make sure your employees are getting enough sunlight to keep them alert and industrious throughout the day. In one study1, employees with more exposure to natural light during the day slept an average of 46 more minutes per night and reported feeling more attentive at work.

Windows, or more accurately, the view through the window, can also have a calming effect on workers. Trapped in a cubicle with modern technology screaming at them from all sides, your employees feel frazzled and need a break. A short time looking out the window may be just the ticket to fix this. Plants, green spaces, and nature are soothing compared to the sensory overload of work. Windows also reduce feelings of claustrophobia and give a more open feel to a workspace.

Another benefit of office windows is their usefulness for daylighting. Daylighting is the use of natural light to illuminate a space. Not only is sunlight better for health and happiness, but it also reduces electricity costs. Incandescent bulbs (common in many offices) produce 90% heat and only 10% light, making them the least efficient lighting option. Turn off the glaring overhead lights and use your windows to work by. Not only will your workers like it, but you’ll also see a savings on your next energy bill.

Heating, cooling, and ventilation are all affected by the number of windows in your office. During the winter, light enters through the windows and heats your space, making you less reliant on your HVAC. In the summer, you’ll want to have energy efficient window shades to stop heat from entering, but still allow daylight in. North and South-facing windows are the best choice for maximum energy efficiency. Windows also provide options for ventilation on mild days when they can be opened.

The benefits of office windows are many. Natural light can increase mood and productivity, keep workers on a better sleep schedule, fight disease, and reduce costs for electricity and HVAC. If you’re considering an office remodel or a new office altogether, make sure there are adequate windows to provide natural light. If you’re stuck with the few windows you have, rearrange the office to put workers within 20 feet of a window. You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make.