There’s a reason why places that see the most gloom during the year, have some of the highest depression rates around. Light is such an important component in terms of how we feel and what kind of mood we’re in. It’s so important, in fact, that special forms of light therapy have been created to help people get through it.
Many of us know about SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), which affects people who are negatively impacted by the change of seasons. What you might not know, though, is that a lack of light can impede on office morale, as well. Fortunately, there are ways to be proactive about its impact.
Take every opportunity you can to put employees near windows. The natural light is so important. Not only will it enhance morale, but it will also increase productivity. Studies have shown that when employees are happy, they’re more productive.
Sometimes it’s just not possible to illuminate the work environment with natural light. For example, maybe you work in a warehouse or a building that extends far beyond the reach of windows. In those cases, try to at least have common areas with light. Perhaps a desk for meetings or an area for lunch breaks, can be placed near windows.
Sitting in a dark cubicle is going to make even the happiest person feel a tinge of despair. Sometimes it can’t be helped, though. That layout might be what works best for your company. In that case, consider putting a light box in the office to help boost morale.
A light box emits about 2,500 to 10.000 lux per one square foot. They are best used early in the morning in intervals of about half an hour. They make far more of an impact than regular overhead lights because the light hits the face, stimulating the retinas. This results in the brain being stimulated. When you stimulate the brain, you’re impacting the person’s energy, mood, and even their appetite.
We’ve made a lot of advancements in the way we can re-produce natural light. There’s probably never going to be anything quite like the real thing, though. That’s why providing an outdoor work space is an incredible idea. Maybe there’s a common patio area where the team could have lunch together. Better yet, host the weekly team meeting out there.
You’d be surprised how much it would boost morale to have some outside time, even if it’s just for 30 minutes here and there. In addition to the many benefits that light provides, this kind of gesture alone, will make employees feel cared for, too. It will make them feel like they matter. That in itself, is enough to boost morale.
Studies show that people are most productive when they work in 90-minute increments. Anything over that is usually wasted time. This is because our mind starts getting foggy and our brain gets tired. This is especially true if you have a desk job and are staring at a computer all day.
Taking a nice walk outside can be the perfect way to spend a break. To be able to find a way to encourage better morale and a higher rate of productivity is like a dream solution. Then, to have it be something as simple as taking a break to walk around the block outside, is even better.
Light therapy might be a new concept, but it’s one of the most promising things a business can integrate into their space. The employees will be happier, making everyone happier.