Switching from artificial lighting to natural lighting offers a range of benefits. It’s cheaper, less environmentally wasteful, healthier for employees, a major cause of increased productivity and an important preventer of depression.
For many professionals that spend most of their workday on a computer, it’s also the source of a major fear: the fear that excess sunlight and glare could lower their productivity level to almost zero.
Glare is an annoyance for any digital professional, and it’s something that can be a very understandable concern for digital companies interested in switching over to natural light to make their offices more energy efficient and productive.
However, like with many other fears, the reality isn’t quite as scary – or, in this case, as serious for productivity – as the fear itself. By making a few changes to the way in which you work, it’s easy to take control of glare and prevent it from being an issue.
In this guide, we’ll share three strategies that you can use to make excess sunlight and glare a nonissue for your digital office. From applications to diffuse skylights, read on to learn how to take control of glare in your naturally lit workplace.
Angle your computer workstations towards the source of light
Here’s a simple way to reduce the effects of light glare: instead of aiming your office workstations away from the sun, rotate them so that your employees are looking at the sun when they work at their computers.
This sounds counterproductive, but it’s actually hugely effective. By increasing the brightness level on your computer display, it will stand out from the sunlight in the background and the effects of glare will be completely eliminated.
Another strategy is to position your workstations at right angles to the direction of the sun throughout the day. This provides a reasonable level of natural light and no direct glare – only side-facing light that doesn’t interfere with productivity.
Alternatively, you can always use computers with matte screens. These displays are designed without the standard layer of glass that’s present on many laptop screens and LCD displays. They’re almost completely glare free, even in direct sunlight.
Use applications like F.lux to control your screen’s color scheme
Although the intensity and color of sunlight changes throughout the day, the color and brightness of your computer screen remain the same. This doesn’t seem right, does it? As the sun changes, so too should the brightness of your computer screen.
Enter F.lux. This handy application automatically syncs your computer’s display to the movement of the sun, giving you clear light and brightness in the morning when the sun is at its highest and a warm, orange display during the late afternoon.
The change in screen color and brightness matches that of the sun, reducing glare and contrast and increasing visibility. It even takes factors like daylight saving into account to make sure your display and the sun are always synchronized.
F.lux is available for PC and Mac, as well as for certain modified iPhones and other mobile devices. Although it’s far from ideal for design-related jobs, it’s an excellent choice for digital professionals in need of a more natural PC display at work.
Install treated glass to provide diffuse lighting in your office
Glass doesn’t necessarily need to mean direct light. A wide range of treatments are available for windows and skylights in your office – including our Coollite and Nano Insulgel options – that block heat transfer and reduce glare.
Many treatments don’t reduce the level of light that enters into your workplace, but reduce the level of concentrated light. Direct beams of sunlight are replaced with an even level of diffuse light that creates a productive environment without glare.
This has several benefits. The first is that it makes working on a PC, even in an area with direct sunlight, amazingly simple. The second is that light is evenly distributed around the workplace, lighting areas that wouldn’t receive sunlight otherwise.
Using a combination of all three tactics – positioning your workstations to reduce their direct light exposure, using applications like F.lux, and using treated glass – is often all it takes to make your naturally lit digital office incredibly productive.