Most proponents of energy efficiency focus on its direct financial benefits, namely its results in decreasing office energy use. As well as being able to reduce office energy expenses, an energy efficient office is a fantastic asset for increasing office income.
Read on to learn how improving your office’s energy efficiency using natural light, effective interior design, and wall and window insulation can help your employees produce enhanced results during the workday.
Science proves it: daylight produces longer-lasting, better energy
Many professionals experience a decline in energy that begins after lunch and lasts until the early afternoon. Dubbed the ‘2PM crash,’ this reduction in energy results in reduced workplace productivity and a loss of focus during the afternoon.
One of the best ways to avoid the dreaded afternoon energy crash is to expose your office to natural light throughout the day. A study by Mirjam Muench indicates that employees who work in naturally lit environments are more alert later in the day.
Instead of artificially boosting workplace energy levels with caffeine and sugar-filled drinks, the most effective and affordable way to increase office output it to create an energy efficient environment that uses natural lighting as its primary light source.
‘Harsh lighting’ produced by artificial lights raises cortisol levels
Cortisol is a powerful corticosteroid produced by the body in trace amounts. As one of the body’s primary stress hormones, cortisol production ramps up during periods where the body is placed under immense physical stress such as sleep deprivation.
When exposed to artificial lighting for long periods of time, the body increases its cortisol output. When exposed to natural light on a rhythm determined by the sun, the body’s cortisol output decreases, reducing stress levels as it declines.
Since elevated cortisol levels can cause serious medical effects, ranging from muscle wasting to early-onset facial aging produced by collagen depletion, adding a natural light source to your office is a fantastic way to improve your health and wellbeing.
Warmer environments, lit by the sun, make us feel happier
Much like artificial light increases the body’s production of cortisol, natural light is one of the most effective triggers for increased production of healthy vitamins and hormones.
One of the most well known benefits of natural light is its ability to increase vitamin D levels in the body, leading to a more powerful immune system. Other key benefits include an increase in melatonin – a sleep hormone – during the nighttime.
However, these advantages pale in comparison to the biggest benefit of natural light for professionals: its ability to make you happier. A recent study shows that natural light is one of the most effective treatments for the physical effects of depression.
Exposure to natural light, whether from a short period of daytime sun exposure or a working environment that uses skylights and other natural lighting, prevents the loss of serotonin and dopamine – two hormones responsible for human happiness.