Employees are more productive if they have windows in their work areas, according to a recent study. That’s one reason the new SAP labs in Palo Alto have incorporated lots of windows.
Does it really work? According to Lisa Heschong, who runs a Sacramento research company that has spent years studying the connection between productivity and light, natural light may increase productivity dramatically. That’s what she found when she studied the effect of natural lighting on two 100-employee call centers operating 12 hours per day. In each study, employees with a window and view answered and processed calls 7% faster than employees doing the same work without natural light.
Employers considering new facilities may want to add more windows, even if that adds somewhat to heating and cooling costs.
Because employee salaries are the biggest cost factor for most employers, it makes sense to increase productivity. Plus, since utilities and other nonhuman-resource costs amount to a fraction of total costs, the increased productivity from natural lighting may quickly pay for itself.