Winter doesn’t just mean cooler weather is around the corner; it also means shorter and darker days are here to stay. With most people spending at least a third of their day—or half of their waking hours—at work behind a desk or in a cubicle, we’re not often able to enjoy what little daylight there is this time of the year. As best practices for workspaces have continued to evolve, increased attention is being placed on the benefits of natural light for overall health, happiness and performance—with good reason.
Daylight is essential to a sense of well-being. It reinforces natural circadian rhythms and the production of neural transmitters, such as serotonin which help regulate anxiety, happiness, and mood. Increased serotonin levels lead to more positive emotions, which are associated with creativity and improved cognitive functioning—positively affecting worker productivity.
Workers who enjoy their environments, whether due to good air, natural materials or daylighting, work harder. Poor lighting in the workplace can lead to excessive sick days and employee absenteeism, worker discontent and poor quality work. Dim lighting can also lead to eye strain and headaches as the insufficient lighting forces our eyes to work harder in order to see, which can result in fatigue and reduced concentration.
However, not only can the lack of sunlight impair worker productivity, it can also lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. About 5% of the population in the United States experience depression, anxiety, lethargy, and sleep problems associated with SAD. The good news is that these symptoms can be alleviated, or even prevented, by increased exposure to natural light.
The light at the end of the tunnel. In addition to increasing employee productivity, improving office atmosphere and decreasing rates of absenteeism, studies show that buildings with abundant natural light helps improve student test scores, shorten patient recovery times and boost retail sales.
Recognizing the importance of optimizing light, while simultaneously reducing excess glare that is often common in commercial buildings, 3M designed 3M™ Daylight Redirecting Film. The film is made up of micro structured prisms which optically redirects over 80 percent of the daylight upward toward the ceiling. The daylight is then diffused to more evenly distribute the light, reducing glare and discomfort caused by direct sunlight on occupants. This proprietary, best-in-class product that redirects sunlight from windows deeper into rooms means you can still gain the positive effects of daylight even if you don’t have a corner office.
The initial costs of improving a facility through better lighting can be offset exponentially by a more productive workforce. Since companies spend an average of 70 times as much money (per square foot per year) on employee salaries as on energy, an increase of just 1% in productivity can save the equivalent to a year’s utility bill—making this film an investment you can afford to make. Furthermore, compared to existing light reflecting strategies, 3M™ Daylight Redirecting Film is easily integrated into new or existing windows. Contact your local Authorized Authorized 3M™ Window Film Dealer Installer today to learn more about what 3M™ Daylight Redirecting Film can do for you and your business.