With work areas being cramped for space and people being forced to work at home, it can be trying to provide a window in every office. But with no natural life coming into a room, is it bad to have an office with no window? Let’s find out here what the experts say.
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Is it bad to have an office with no window?
Having an office with no window is acceptable provided the appropriate office conditions are maintained. This include ensuring appropriate lighting and ventilation are provided in the windowless office. However, if the worker suffers from winter blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), placing them in a windowless office could exacerbate their condition. Windowless office may be more suited to individuals who work part-time, people whose role requires limited office time or people who don’t have a personal preference for a window or windowless office.
A study was conducted to determine the impact of windows and daylight exposure on overall health and sleep quality for office workers.
The study involved 27 workers in windowless environments and 22 comparable workers in environments with windows.
The study found that the workers in an environment where there were no windows experienced poorer sleep quality. They also had a lower tendency towards physical activity compared to workers in an environment where there were windows.
The study concluded that workplaces should place more emphasis on daylight exposure to improve their health and well being. Source
Evidently, having a window is a preferable option. But what are the advantages of adding a window to a room? What hacks can you use to make your windowless office better? Read on as I divulge some hidden tips on what I’ve seen to help work in my many years of assessing office workstations.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a condition which affects approximately 5% of adults in the USA. This can lead to feelings of depression and poor energy. Source
Should an office have a window?
If it’s possible, offices should have a window installed. This will allow for natural light and ventilation to circulate around the room.
A window allows workers to see the day light outside which can help to reduce stress and improve their mood and energy levels.
The use of windows also adds natural lighting and heating into the office. This can in turn reduce the electricity bills and also the heating bills.
Tip: Opt for candescent lighting instead of fluorescent lighting as it places less strain on your eyes.
Why are windows important in office?
Adding windows into an office can:
- Reduce the risk of seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Allow natural light to enter the office
- Allow natural ventilation into the office
- Help to reduce eyestrain from artificial light
- Help to improve the quality of sleep of workers
Tip: Artificial windows can mimic the appearance of a window
How can I move from a windowless office?
If you don’t enjoy working in a windowless room, you could try and see if it’s possible to move to another location.
Below are some tricks I have developed and advised many people to try out. It has helped them to make a case with their manager to either relocate them to an office with a window.
For individuals that don’t have another room they can move to, I have given them inspiration and practical ideas on how to improve the condition while they work from home.
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Working in an office with no windows:
Advise your manager of your discomforts in the room and request an office move.
If you are someone who works full time in the office, this will help your case. Perhaps there’s someone who only works part-time, or their role only requires a small amount of time in the office.
Consider building a case and asking them to swap offices.
I have seen this work in the past, it’s a reasonable request at the end of the day.
Besides, if your manager or nurse has any interest in your health and well-being, they will at least try and make attempts to improve your working conditions!
Working from a home office with no windows:
If you’re working from a windowless home office, consider other rooms that you could relocate to.
Common rooms used as a home office include the living room, dining room and even the kitchen.
You could even just move for a couple of hours a day to increase your exposure to natural light and ventilation. Additionally, it will give you a change of scenery.
I have previously discussed laptop desks which are portable tables for holding laptops.
These budget-friendly and compact items are an excellent investment to help you improve your posture when working from a table at home.
Plus, they’re easy to transport from room to room.
However, if these approaches don’t work, the next section will help you to improve your current conditions in the office.
How can I make my windowless office better?
If moving office isn’t an option, there are techniques and tips that can be adopted to help you survive living in a windowless office:
- Use bright colors to paint the room
- Leave the door open to allow some light in
- Open the door to allow some air to circulate in the room
- Opt for a window door instead of a completely wooden door to increase light from the corridor
- Avoid having your breakfast or lunch at your desk
- Take regular breaks away from your office
- If there are face-to-face meetings, hold them in areas with windows
- Make an extra effort to get outside
- Add a mirror to the room to help reflect the light
- Add painting which have images of the outdoors, such as flowers and scenery
- Brings plants into the office to instill a feeling of well being and connection to nature
Working in a windowless option isn’t necessarily a bad thing for everyone. Since many roles and work setups warrant people to work in windowless offices, an office swap isn’t always possible.
Working in an office without a window is OK if the appropriate office conditions are maintained.
The primary consideration is to ensure that you’re getting adequate lighting and ventilation into the room. This can be achieved following the techniques listed above.
Also, making extra efforts to expose yourself to natural sunlight is important.
Exposure to the outdoors and sunlight is particularly important if you tend to get the winter blues or suffer from SAD.