It's only mid-August, and the days are getting shorter already. I'm noticing it's darker out at my usual wake up time, and I'm thankful that I invested in my Philips Wake-Up Light so I can awake not only to bright light, but also the sound of birds chirping (kind of like this gal).
But seriously, anyone who feels the slightest effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder knows the impact of light on sleep. Now, a new study takes it a bit further -- into the workplace.
Importance of Sleep, Impact of No Windows
Sleep has always been regarded as important, but it's now having a "moment" with Arianna Huffington leading the march to more sleep in her book "Thrive." The amount of sleep one gets reflects on her overall health and well-being.
A new study, soon to be reported in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, reveals that people who work in windowless offices were less physically active, and got less sleep, than people who were exposed to daylight during working hours. On average, workers exposed to daylight received 46 minutes more sleep on any given night, reports Fast Company.
Study leader and architectural scholar Mohamed Boubekri chose to focus on office buildings. Why? "We really wanted to look at some health issues related to lack of natural light in people's lives in general, [and] that's where most of us spend a good chunk of our lives," Bouberki told Fast Company.
How to Give Your Employees More Light
So what does this mean for you and your firm? Knocking down walls and adding windows is probably not in your budget. Here are some wallet-friendly ways to encourage, or help, your employees to get more daylight:
Like ergonomics, adding more daylight to your office is an effective and relatively easy way to increase employee productivity and happiness -- and all without having to hire a Chief Happiness Officer.