Natural light is the most prized office perk

Employees crave sunshine and views of the outdoors more than cafeterias, fitness centers, and childcare.

September 27, 2018 |

In the workplace environment, employees want sunshine and views of the outdoors more than any other feature or amenity, according to a survey by HR advisory firm Future Workplace.

Seeing the light of day in the office was desired by respondents even more than onsite cafeterias, fitness centers, childcare, and more faddish perks such as treadmill desks, nap pods, and being allowed to bring dogs to the office. More than a third of employees feel that they don’t get enough natural light in their workspace, the survey found.

Some 47% of employees say they feel tired or very tired from the absence of natural light or a window; and 43% report feeling gloomy because of the lack of light. Work-life balance and overall well-being were determined to be the second most important factor when choosing to work for an organization.

Health benefits stemming from access to natural light are motivating some companies to re-invent their workspace and using it as a recruiting tool. Examples include The Spheres, Amazon’s downtown Seattle site that has more than 40,000 plants, and an Airbnb Call Center with extensive open space providing access to natural light and outdoor views and long couches, standing desks, and wireless technology.

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