Business leaders often wonder how to get more out of employees. This kind of thinking can quickly take a dark turn. It’s not hard to find examples of workers who have been forced into horrible situations in the name of productivity. That is not to say this is always the case. A new study commissioned by smart window maker View, Inc. shows how companies can let the light in.
The study took 30 participants and had them work for two weeks in two different office environments. Participants spent one week in an office with “optimized daylight” and one week in an office with the blinds drawn. On average, the results showed that participants slept better and had higher cognitive ability when exposed to more daylight.
As you might have guessed, “optimized daylight” means using smart windows made by View, Inc. Beyond the company’s promotion, however, there is a lesson that any business can apply without investing in smart windows. More daylight could mean breaks where employees can take walks or skylights to pipe in more natural light. These changes could mean additional costs. But the study shows that done right, such changes could benefit productivity and pay off in the long run.
Although the study didn’t touch on the effects of staring at a computer screen well into the night, it’s worth mentioning that it ties in nicely with research into the issue. We don’t yet know what exact effect working late on a computer or smartphone has, but research suggests that it throws off the natural sleep cycle. Despite our fancy gadgets, we’re still better off living in step with our old friend the Sun.