Companies coexist in a state of fierce competition for talent and great offices often act as a wonderful recruitment tool. Additionally, employee health, comfort and wellness play a vital role post-COVID.
In essence, office environments come with a few challenges when it comes to exposure to natural light. Uncontrolled natural daylight causes unwanted heat or leads to excessive glare on screens, which then required the use of curtains and blinds that are the incubation spots for bacteria.
A research carried out across North America by CBRE and Future Workplace concluded that good views and natural light are the top two amenities desired by employees in their workplace. They also consider the physical environment of the office to be extremely important for their corporate wellbeing. Both factors have a direct effect on employee performance and productivity.
In a new study conducted by Alan Hedge, a professor in the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis at Cornell, workers in daylit office environments reported an 84 percent drop in symptoms of eyestrain, headaches and blurred vision symptoms, which can detract from productivity. The application of smart glass in office spaces, which allow controlled access to natural light resulted in a decrease of 10 percent drop in drowsiness during the day. A controlled amount of natural light leaves a positive impact on the happiness quotient of employees, who end up showing up for work with more vigour.
In terms of numbers, Alan Hedge’s study reported a 2 percent increase in productivity for every office worker that has window access in his immediate work environment. This translates to an additional $100,000 per year for every 100 employees and around $2 million over the window’s life span.
According to Dr. Brandon Tinianov, Chair of the US Green Building Council’s advisory team, "Despite their best intentions, companies are unwittingly detracting from their employees' health and performance by limiting their access to natural light."
At the office, architects and interior designers can combine a variety of elements such as functionality, design language, natural light transitions and solutions for common and private spaces. Smart glass switches from opaque milky mode (closed mode) to clear glass (open mode) at the touch of a button, providing controlled access to natural light and creating a good alternative to artificial lighting at specific areas of the office.
To know more about the application of smart glass for office environments, click here.