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Free gourmet coffee? Catered lunch? A fitness area? The list of amenities that facility managers and owners provide in an attempt to improve employee satisfaction and productivity is long a varied. Recent years has seen managers try to go well beyond healthy indoor environments, secure buildings and clean restrooms to achieve these goals. In many facilities, perhaps the most important.
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, according to a new survey of 1,614 North American employees by the advisory firm Future Workplace called “The Employee Experience.”
The study also found that the absence of natural light and outdoor views hurts the employee experience, according to the Harvard Business Review. More than one-third of employees feel that they don’t get enough natural light in their workspace. Also, 47 percent of employees admit they feel tired or very tired from the absence of natural light or a window at their office, and 43 percent 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 State of the American Workplace survey, more than one-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.
This Quick Read was submitted by Dan Hounsell — firstname.lastname@example.org — editor-in-chief of Facility Maintenance Decisions, and chief editor of Facilitiesnet.com.