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The #1 Office Perk? Natural Light

Yes – this is true – I have my plants in the hallways – which perks up the otherwise empty space and, but leaves me alone in the dark. I brought a number of them home recently and set them outside, and they are much happier. And as we all know, if you are looking at your garden when you are working, and have your animal companions with you, these factors also contribute to satisfaction within the “remote workplace.”

Harvard Business Review: “The news headlines about what perks or elements of office design make for a great employee experience seem to be dominated by fads — think treadmill desks, nap pods, and “bring your dog to work day” for starters. However, a new survey by my HR advisory firm Future Workplace called “The Employee Experience” reveals the reality is that employees crave something far more fundamental and essential to human needs. In a research poll of 1,614 North American employees, we found that access to natural light and views of the outdoors are the number one attribute of the workplace environment, outranking stalwarts like onsite cafeterias, fitness centers, and premium perks including on-site childcare (only 4-8% of FORTUNE 100 companies offer on-site child care). The study also found that the absence of natural light and outdoor views hurts the employee experience. Over a third of employees feel that they don’t get enough natural light in their workspace. 47% of employees admit they feel tired or very tired from the absence of natural light or a window at their office, and 43% report feeling gloomy because of the lack of light. These findings support a larger trend of the growing importance of employee wellbeing. According to Gallup’s most recent iteration of the State of the American Workplace, more than half of employees report better overall well-being as “very important” to them.  In the same survey, work-life balance and overall well-being were determined to be the second most important factor when choosing to work for an organization. When employees are fulfilled in all aspects of their well-being, this leads to increased employee engagement and and increases individual performance…”

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