23 Sep 2022

Let There Be Light!

A new poll has revealed that natural sunlight is the most crucial element for home working wellbeing in Scotland and the North East. Here, Adam Slade, Operations Director from Roof Window Outlet, looks at some results.

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With eight-in-10 workers across the UK spending more time permanently working from home, a new study has been commissioned to understand how much importance Brits place on having access to natural light in their homes – and how it affects them.

A recent article in the Harvard Business Review revealed access to natural light is the number one attribute workers desire in an office environment.

With boundary lines blurred between work and home thanks to the rise in hybrid working, this gives homeowners the chance to modify their home environments for the benefit of their wellbeing and mental health.

The poll, commissioned by Roof Window Outlet – Britain’s premier roof window supplier – showed 63% of homeowners in Glasgow and Newcastle believed natural sunlight shining into their home made them feel happier than any other element.

Nearly a quarter of people in the Bristol (23%) said light decor and neutral wall colours made them feel joyful and content while working at home.

For the residents of Coventry, it was artwork that delivered the most happiness while working at home, staying true to their UK City of Culture accolade last year. Meanwhile, homeowners in Liverpool topped the poll for their personalities, admitting their happiness at home stemmed from having individual pieces of furniture showcasing their character.

Women polled most vehemently when it came to their lust for natural light, with 56% citing sunlight shining into their homes gave them a feeling of true happiness. With the known scientific benefits of natural light and its impact on our mental wellbeing, having access to plenty of natural daylight is an important health factor.

With that in mind, it is not surprising that one-in-six people polled felt accessing additional light was the most important focus for their home renovations.

Adam comments: “The survey results show just how vitally important access to light is for millions of Brits. There is a far better understanding about the role that light plays in our mental and physical wellbeing and these results really shine a spotlight on that."

Semi-detached home case study: light’s a lifesaver

Amy, 38, from Shropshire, charges having access to plenty of natural light with having a profoundly positive impact on her health.

“We spent a lot of time during lockdown in a dark and depressing kitchen, with minimal access to light. Working from home in these conditions definitely impacted my mood and general wellbeing – I felt low, tired and really lacking in energy.

“We were lucky enough to renovate the kitchen, adding an extension with beautiful roof lights and folding doors that look out onto the garden, and I can honestly say it has improved my health.”

Amy, who underwent brain surgery in November 2021, explains how having access to lots of daylight – even during the winter – was a lifesaver. “Recovering from surgery was tough, but I spent as much time as possible sitting in front of the windows and looking out into the garden. I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude – not only to be alive and on the mend, but to be able to enjoy watching nature and feeling the watery winter sunshine on my face.

“For me, the light in my home genuinely saved me. I work from home, and every day, I sit at my kitchen table, look out into the garden in all weathers and feel truly grateful.”

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