Are your staff looking miserable? Have you thought a lack of natural light may be hampering productivity and wellbeing?

We’ve reported before on the research by Northwestern Medicine and the University of Illinois, which found working without natural light can be detrimental to productivity, health and overall wellbeing, so addressing levels of natural light should be one of your key objectives during an office refurbishment.

There are many tricks and tips at our disposal to make the most of natural light, so you may wish to consider the following when it comes to space planning, interior refurbishment and refitting an office.

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Replace internal walls with glass partitions – sometimes only a solid wall will do – perhaps when it comes to matters of privacy or dividing space – but a glass wall can make a super substitute for brick or plasterboard. Glass has excellent soundproofing qualities and the material allows natural light to flow between areas. If privacy is needed, MPL Interiors can fit blinds that can be closed when necessary or apply a frosting to the lower half of the glass, leaving the top clear to aid the flow of light.

Use low-level office partitions – not every wall as to be floor-to-ceiling so think about where low-level partitions or evens items of furniture can be used to separate areas instead. Keeping walls to below your eye line creates an airy atmosphere and allows light to reach all corners.

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Accessorize with mirrored surfaces – reflective surfaces bounce natural light around and can make an office look twice as bright. A couple of mirrors on the wall will always improve light levels and even mirrored occasional furniture - such as side tables – in public-facing areas can have an impact. A mirror placed opposite a window is often the first port of call for our designers.

Keep windows unobscured – if your business has a shop front, resist the temptation to crowd the window with stickers, posters and displays. Leave the glass a free as possible but if a shop window is a big part of selling your business and attracting custom, keep adornments to below waist height so natural light can flood in.

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Choose the right paint – when we’re decorating offices with low levels of natural light, MPL always opts for a durable gloss or satin sheen paint that bounces light around – anything matt, eggshell or chalky will absorb light (and won’t be as durable). Try and stick with lighter shades and opt for a specialist paint designed to enhance light (Dulux Light + Space, for example).

Position desks properly – professional office space planning will result in your employees getting the most natural light without it making work uncomfortable. MPL’s 2D space plans allow us to set desk positions in relation to windows and other sources of natural light, being mindful of direct sunlight, and making provision for data and power supplies.

If you feel your workplace is trapped in the dark ages, ask us for a natural light consultation.