Office Window Pros And Cons – Plus Must Know Helpful Tips!


Most offices have traditionally come fitted with a window. However, with people trying to find a corner to work from home in and with businesses trying to fit more people into the building, not all offices now have a window. This article highlights office window pros and cons to help you understand the potential side effects of a windowless office v window office.

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Office Window Pros And Cons

Office windows grant people access to natural light and ventilation. Both of these offer a range of advantages and contribute to overall well being, health and increased productivity. Natural lighting also helps minimize eye strain, the onset of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and winter blues. Natural daylight also helps reduce the cost of lighting bills. Natural ventilation allow access to fresh air, makes it easier to ventilate the office and control the temperature. However, light from office windows can make it difficult to see the screen and can increase the levels of noise. Additionally, office windows require more maintenance as they need to be cleaned. They also reduce the amount of privacy and blinds may have to be purchased and maintained to minimize glare and distractions.

Advantages of having an office window

Disadvantages of having an office window

Allows natural light to enter the office

Can create a glare from the sun

Allows natural ventilation into the office

Can create a draught

Help to reduce eyestrain from artificial light

Increases the amount of noise heard

Help to improve the quality of sleep of workers

May be poorly insulated

Reduce the risk of seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

Needs to be cleaned

Helps to reduce lighting bills

Reduced amount of privacy

Helps to reduce heating bills

Can be a source of distraction

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a condition which impacts around 5% of adults in the USA. This can lead to sufferers feeling depressed and lethargic. Source

Office Window Pros And Cons - Desk with laptop beside window

Advantages of having an office window

There are endless benefits of having natural light flowing into your office:

Allows natural light to enter the office

A window that allows light in increases your intake of Vitamin D, which is also known as the sunshine vitamin.

Whether you are exposed to sunlight from the indoors or outdoors, it doesn’t matter from a vitamin D absorption perspective.

A study on workers in an office with daylight reported an improvement in their overall well being and health. These factors ultimately contributed to better work rates and increased productivity.

Help to reduce eyestrain from artificial light

The more time you spend in the presence of natural light, the less strain that you are placing on your eyes. Fluorescent lights are known to flicker and even if you don’t notice it, this can lead to headaches and nausea.

According to a study by Alan Hedge, workers in day lit office environments reported an 84% reduction in symptoms of eyestrain, headaches and blurred vision.

It also can present problems for people with conditions including epilepsy, autism, lupus, Lyme disease and vertigo, to mention but a few.

Allows natural ventilation into the office

There’s nothing quite like cracking open a window to allow some fresh air in. Not only does this remove and help eliminate any odors, but it also helps to keep the carbon dioxide (CO2) levels low.

In addition, a key component to curbing the spread of viruses, including colds and Covid-19 is increasing the ventilation within a room.

This is of higher importance if you are sharing a room or an office with someone.

Tip: CO2 alarms are designed for monitoring air quality in a room.

Help to improve the quality of sleep of workers

Exposure to natural light while working increases your ability to sleep.

A study on a small group of workers has shown how sleep quality and duration can be affected by the absence of a window in their work environment.

The experiment involved 27 workers in environments without windows and 22 comparable workers in environments with windows.

The study observed that the workers in a windowless environment experienced poorer sleep quality.

Additionally, workers exposure to light slept an average of 46 minutes more per night than staff in windowless areas.

They also had a lower propensity towards physical activity compared to workers in an environment with windows.

Reduces the risk of seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

Approximately 5% of US adults are affected by SAD. This is a type of depression that is triggered by changes in the seasons, typically during autumn and winter.

14% of adults are affected by a less severe condition known as the winter blues.

Exposure to natural light helps to improve your mood and reduce the likelihood of the onset of SAD or winter blues.

Tip: Light therapy lamps can be used to artificially increase the amount of light that you are exposed to and minimize the effects of SAD or winter blues.

Helps to reduce lighting bills

depending on the direction that your office window is facing, you are bound to get natural light flowing in. Sometimes this natural light may be so bright that you do not need to even switch the lights on.

This will ultimately contribute to minimizing the cost of your electricity bill.

Besides, it’s more environmentally friendly to use less lighting and electricity.

Helps to reduce heating bills

Working in a warm climate or office can get rather stuffy and uncomfortable. If you have the luxury of an air conditioning unit, you can power this up to get to a more comfortable temperature.

However, air conditioning units consume a considerable amount of energy. This will further increase if it has to work harder or for longer to get to the appropriate temperature.

If possible, opening a window can allow some cooler air in and keep the office a bit cooler.

While this won’t work as effectively on very warm days when there’s no wind, it can be rather effective if there is a breeze out and if the weather is a bit cooler.

This in turn can reduce the duration that you need to leave the air conditioning on for and thus your heating and energy bills can be lowered!

Fans can also be used as a more energy efficient alternative to air conditioning units.

Tip: Leaving the window open slightly overnight and during the day can keep the office cooler.

Office Window Pros And Cons - Office facing wall

Disadvantages of having an office window

Having an office window can create the below problems:

Can create a glare from the sun

The sun is almost always a welcome delight in our lives. However, it can wreak havoc if you are trying to work, and you are experiencing glare from the window on your computer screen!

Furthermore, if you are facing the window, the sunlight can be dazzling and blind your view.

It can also reflect off surfaces and shiny objects which can be rather frustrating.

Fortunately, this can be easily addressed by a set of good quality blinds or curtains.

Venetian blinds are an ideal solution as they allow you to dim the amount of light without completely blackening your office.

Recommended product: LED light, flicker-free, dimmable + lifetime warranty

Windows can create a draught

We have all at some stage or another experienced the uncomfortable draught from a poorly insulated window or an open window.

Whether it’s a poorly insulated window in your office or a vent on it is broken, a draughty window can instill a horribly cold feeling. This may leave you wanting to cling to a radiator!

You may have to suffer through this for the whole day too!

Ideally, the windows will be repaired or replaced with better insulated windows. However, as an interim, closing the curtains or blinds can serve as a means of blocking the wind from you.

It’s a pretty bad sign when you can feel the wind howling in at you from the window!

I recall a few horrible occasions where I genuinely felt warmer by standing outside the house that I was in! I’m sure you can too!

Tip: Draught excluders can help to minimize the amount of wind coming in a window.

Increases the amount of noise heard

Windows are not as effective at insulating against noise as a wall is. Therefore, you are likely to hear more noise if you have a window installed. This is the case even if the window is closed.

You can expect the noise levels to be even louder if the window has vents or only has a single glaze. Plus, let’s not even talk about the noise levels from an open window.

Noise could be a problem if your window faces out onto a busy path or road.

Windows can create noise indirectly if the window is being opened/closed regularly by others that you share the room with.

Fortunately, you can soundproof a window to minimize the amount of noise that you hear.

Related: Should My Desk Face The Wall? – Helpful Tips + Pros & Cons!

Window may be poorly insulated

Windows have evolved over the years from single glaze to double glaze.

Even triple glazed windows exist now!

However, if you have a poorly insulated window, it’s likely to increase noise and make the office colder. This can in turn increase heating bills as you try to compensate for lost heat.

Tip: Closing the curtains can help minimize heat escaping, especially if the radiator is located underneath a window.

Windows needs to be cleaned

Between smudge marks, weather stains from the rain and dirt from the environment and animals, there is more cleaning required in a window.

If you lack a window in your office, then this is one less cleaning activity that you’ll have to do!

For all of you who have cleaned a window, you’ll know that there’s an art to doing it.

Reduced amount of privacy

Having a window in your office creates an opportunity for other to see what you are doing. Having an office window or even a glass window may help you feel connected to other.

Plus, it can increase your ability to keep an eye on the people that you work with. However, with that said, they can practically see everything that you do too!

If you work on confidential information and your screen can be viewed from your window, this poses a risk of confidential data being leaked.

While they’re not that common, if you work in a glass office, or even an office with large windows, then you might feel like a goldfish.

Let’s not even mention the headaches and amount of cleaning that a glass office would need!

Blinds are a savior when it comes to seeking a bit of privacy.

Related: Should I Put Desk In Front Of Window? You Need To Know Why

Can be a source of distraction

Windows are a source of distraction, somehow regardless of your view, there’s always an allure to staring out them!

If your office desk is positioned so that you can look out the window, it does elevate the risk that you will be distracted.

Even if your back is to the window, you will be able to hear noises better from outside which could also draw your attention away from the task that you are performing!

This is one key advantage to a windowless office, especially if you are someone that is easily distracted.

A window allows workers to see the day light outside which can help to reduce stress and improve their mood and energy levels.

Tip: Artificial windows can mimic the appearance of a window.

Conclusion

The pros and cons of an office window are certainly worth considering if you have the option of choosing an office.

Also, if you’re setting up a home office, the effects of moving to a windowless room, such as your basement, needs careful consideration.

For the majority of people, an office window is preferable to have. The advantages of an office window tend to outweigh the advantages of a windowless office.

If it’s possible, offices should have a window installed. This will allow for natural light and ventilation to circulate around the room.

If not, an artificial window can be installed which gives the illusion of having a window in your home office.

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.

I personally would much prefer an office with a window. I know that many people that I have completed office visual display unit (VDU) assessments on all agree on that matter too.

Sharon

With years of both professional and first-hand experience in office equipment and work settings, I now want to help you avoid making mistakes that countless others do. Whether you're studying or working from home, this site will help you create the ultimate haven for working safely, comfortably and productively in!

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