August 09, 2018

More Light, Big Benefits

by Erin Johnson

There was an interesting article published in Glass Magazine earlier this year that caught my attention. Among other things, the piece notes the increasing prevalence of glass in both living and working quarters.

Why? Because it has real, tangible benefits for occupants.

Per Glass:

Numerous studies have been conducted in the last two decades to look at the relationship between windows and occupant health and performance. The findings offer a repeating theme: access to daylight and views improves occupant health and comfort.

In offices, this translates to increases in productivity and product output, and decreases in absenteeism and employee turnover. In hospitals, studies show decreases in stay and in use of pain medication. In schools, test scores and productivity improved.

The piece further cites research noting that natural light, in any setting, can help increase worker alertness. It’s even been linked to lower employee absenteeism and higher retention.

I think there are a couple of things we can take away here:

First, the increasing use of large glass and the proliferation of daylighting means that our industry has the responsibility to continue delivering high-performance, thermally efficient solutions to builders and architects around the world.

Take it from the World Building Design Guide: “The science of daylighting design is not just how to provide enough daylight to an occupied space, but how to do so without any undesirable side effects. Beyond adding windows or skylights to a space, it involves carefully balancing heat gain and loss, glare control, and variations in daylight availability.”

Second, I think that as the fenestration industry faces labor and retention challenges, increasing the amount of natural light in our workspaces is something worth our consideration. No, adding a large window wall to your plant floor won’t solve everything, and doing so might not be completely feasible anyway. But we should continue to investigate novel and unexpected ways to increase employee engagement, and it’s easy to underestimate how much of an impact that the working environment can have on worker wellbeing.

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Posted: August 09, 2018 by Erin Johnson Filed under: employee, fenestration, glass, workplace