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Could Natural Light be the Most-Valued Office Perk?

According to The Employee Experience, a newly released study by HR Advisory & Research firm Future Workplace, more than 50% of the 1,614 North American employees surveyed said natural light and views of the outdoors were their most important office perks, edging out benefits such as on-site childcare, cafeterias, medical care, and fitness centers.

Key findings of The Employee Experience study include:

Access to natural light and views bolsters the workplace 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%).

The absence of natural light and views affects employees’ energy levels and mood. Over one-third of surveyed employees feel they don’t get enough natural light during the day; 47% said they feel tired or very tired from the absence of natural light or a window at their office; 43% report the lack of light affected their mood.

The more technology, the greater the desire for exposure to natural light. More than 50% of those workers surveyed said prolonged screen use has led to eyestrain or headaches at work, with 73% agreeing 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.

“While treadmill desks and nap pods sometimes get a lot of hype, the study clearly found that essential things such as optimized natural light and views are the most impactful and valued office perks,” remarked Jeanne Meister, founding partner of Future Workplace. “Employees say workplaces infused with daylight and views of the outside promote their well-being, engagement and productivity.”

Editor’s Note: This survey was conducted before the pandemic of 2020. Therefore, perks such as working from home or hybrid work schedules were not on the workplace horizon yet.

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