It seems that a home office never hits that level of comfort that a real office has. The lights are too bright or too dim, you either have to work on a big dining room table or on a low coffee table.
You see your living room window. You office could use some natural lighting, couldn’t it? Or will it just throw off the delicate rhythm you’ve found?
As small a question as it may seem, the slightest thing can throw you off your game and affect productivity, including lighting. And with many of us still working from home, we’re all dealing with different forms of lighting. You might be tempted to throw the window open and let in some sunlight – but should you?
Pro: You get fresh air
There is nothing worse than breathing in the same heavy, recycled air that’s been in your house all day. Getting a steady breeze coming in from outside will keep you refreshed and cool. This is especially great if your home office doesn’t have a fan or air conditioning!
Con: You won’t be able to take video calls
Unfortunately, with the sun coming in, you’ll get such a glare on your camera that anyone who calls won’t be able to see you. While you can always leave your camera off, if you’re giving a presentation, a webinar or anything that requires you to show your face, you’ll need to move your computer elsewhere or draw the blinds.
Pros: You’ll get more natural light in your office
The most obvious pro is that you’ll have natural lighting! Studies and articles show that natural lighting (albeit filtered) is great for eye health, whereas florescent lights are more harmful. That natural lighting will be a nice change of pace for your eyes, so used to backlit computer and phone screens.
Of course, if eye health is the goal, it’s also important to take frequent breaks away from any screens. That could be spent reading a book, listening to music or a podcast with your eyes closed, or going for a walk.
Con: It’ll be much harder to see your own screen
Devices like laptops and cell phones are backlit, which means they produce their own light. That means that they’re best viewed under other artificial lights. If you’ve ever tried to answer a text while outside, you probably noticed that it was harder to see. Now imagine that difficulty, but while you’re trying to work. Your productivity will tank!
Pro: You’ll hear more sounds of nature
Checking your email and sipping your morning coffee while birds sing sounds like something out of feel-good movie. It’s a relaxing way to ease into work, and it sure beats the sound of morning traffic. This is especially nice if you don’t live in an urban area. Don’t forget to refill your feeders and empty the birdbaths!
Con: You’ll also get more sounds not of nature
Is there a construction zone nearby? Or maybe you have noisy neighbors? Opening a window or two is going to let in more noise pollution along with the outdoorsy sounds. While you may be one of the few that can shut out the outside world and be laser-focused while working, it’ll still be hard to concentrate with all that sound. You might want to invest in some headphones.
So with all that in mind, it’s up to you to decide if natural lighting is worth it, or if you’d rather stick with the overhead lights – for better or for worse.