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Study: Employees Desire Natural Light and Views Over Any Other Office Perk

In my 2017 book, The Future Workplace Experience, I wrote that natural light is increasingly recognized as a significant element in creating a great employee experience. It has the potential to keep employees more energized, more productive, and more engaged.

If I was to write that book today, I’d add that as companies increasingly strive to create a great employee experience, placing employees in office spaces with the optimal amount of natural light should be one of their key priorities.

In a newly released study by Future Workplace entitled “The Employee Experience,” over half of the 1,614 North American employees surveyed said natural light and views of the outdoors were their most important office perks, ranking higher than onsite cafeterias, fitness centers, medical care and childcare. Download a summary of the study.

Key findings of The Employee Experience study include:

Access to natural light and views is a positive factor on the employee experience. Employees say that access to natural light and views improves their overall happiness and well-being (78%), work satisfaction (73%), work performance (70%) and organizational commitment (54%).

Absence of natural light and views hurts the employee experience. Over a third of employees feel that they don’t get enough natural light in their workspace. 47% of employees admit they feel tired or very tired from the absence of natural light or a window at their office, and 43% report feeling gloomy by the lack of light.

Prolonged technology use makes employees want a view/natural light more. Over half of employees say that prolonged screen use leads to eyestrain or headaches at work. 73% agree that the longer they use their technology devices, the more they desire a visual break such as taking a walk or glancing at the view outside.

Creating a great employee experience is becoming a business issue attracting the attention of both CEOs and Heads of HR. These findings from “The Employee Experience,” are crucial to providing guidance for HR pioneers who are committed to delivering an exceptional employee experience. These pioneers are leading the way by reaching outside of the HR function to partner with heads of Real Estate, IT, Marketing, Internal Communications, and Global Citizenship to create one seamless employee and customer experience.

New technologies such as View Dynamic Glass are not only fulfilling employees desires to have natural light and views, they are also promoting employee wellness which remains a top concern for human resource leaders. Workers spend on average five hours and 42 minutes at their desk each day. Think of the impact access to natural light could have on their overall work performance, wellbeing and satisfaction. A healthy, restorative workplace is the foundation for a high performing, content and engaged workforce.

About Jeanne Meister Jeanne Meister is Founding Partner of Future Workplace, an HR Executive Network and Research firm. She is the best-selling author of four books, two books on Corporate Universities and two books on the future of work. Her most recent book is, The Future Workplace: 10 Rules For Mastering Disruption in Recruiting and Engaging Employees. This book was awarded the Silver Axiom Best Business Book Award for Human Resources professionals in 2017 and most recently the receipt of the Bellwether award, by the Community College Futures Assembly. Jeanne is also a Contributor to Forbes and her column can be found here: http://blogs.forbes.com/jeannemeister/.

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Jeanne Meister - Founding Partner, Future Workplace