Do you ever feel tired and unproductive in the morning? Each and every day, office workers around the world sit down at their desks between 8 and 9 am to start their day of work. Despite beginning at 8 am, many are unproductive the entire morning.
Why is it that we so often feel tired in the morning? Around the world, complaints of morning tiredness are commonplace, so much so that many professionals claim not to get much done before noon.
There are several reasons why people feel tired and unfocused in the morning. One of the most significant is a lack of exposure to natural light and its serious effect on the body’s circadian rhythm.
In this blog post, we’ll share five strategies that you can use in your workplace to make the morning a more productive and focused period of the day. All it takes is one thing: a little bit of natural light.
Open the blinds and let light flow into your office
Early in the morning, many offices keep their blinds closed and switch on the lights to avoid glare and harsh sunlight. This is the opposite of what they should do, and it contributes to the morning inefficiency that many office workers feel.
Our bodies are programmed to respond to bright sunlight in the morning – the same bright sunlight that, millennia ago, we experienced in nature. When we’re deprived of it, our circadian rhythm fails to become as ingrained and defined as it should be.
Instead of pulling down the blinds and shutting out natural light in the morning, it’s worth doing the opposite: open the blinds and let the light in, even if it’s bright, and your team will become more focused and motivated throughout the day.
Let employees take a ‘sun break’ during the workday
Feeling tired? Instead of spending your time in a break room with few windows and far too many fluorescent light bulbs, spend your break time close to windows and in bright, naturally lit areas.
Remember that we’re designed primarily for life outdoors; our bodies simply aren’t as modern as our offices are. By spending time in well-lit areas throughout the day, you define your body clock and avoid morning and early-afternoon burnout.
Throw away cubicles and create an open workplace
The more barriers there are in your office environment, the less able natural light is to travel throughout the office during the day. Today’s modern offices largely avoid cubicles for collaborative reasons, but health is also another reason to avoid them.
Cubicles are, simply put, unhealthy and unproductive. Not only do they block out the useful collaboration and conversation that many offices depend on; they also block out natural light and contribute to the development of seasonal affective disorder.
Encourage employees to take breaks from their PCs
What is the biggest source of artificial light that you deal with during the day? Is it the fluorescent lighting above your head, or the bright light that your computer’s display emits throughout the day.
If you spend a long time in front of a digital display at work, you could be affecting your sleep patterns and energy levels without knowing it. Artificial light isn’t just transmitted from above our heads – often, it comes from right in front of us.
Take a break from your PC every few hours, and encourage your employees and coworkers to do likewise. Taking a PC break not only prevents seasonal affective disorder due to light deprivation – it also increases focus and productivity.
Hold morning meetings in warm and sunny office areas
Meetings are a necessity of office life. Often held in the mornings and typically at the beginning of the week, they typically take place in small meeting rooms deprived of the natural light that our bodies and minds need for energy and focus.
It’s little wonder, then, that so many people find meetings uninspiring. If you hold a morning meeting in your office, avoid the artificially lit conference room and choose to host it in a naturally lit area where focus and productivity levels will be higher.