How natural light can make your meetings and conferences more efficient
Note: For a look at LEO conference rooms with natural light, scroll to the bottom. Now on with the article.
When was the last time you left a conference room feeling refreshed? Can you recall a time you struggled to stay awake during a presentation? Both are common problems affecting the efficiency of meetings, but how can businesses combat these issues?
Natural light in desks and common areas are important, yet meeting rooms can easily be overlooked as an office design afterthought. Correctly utilising natural light design in an office environment could improve productivity by at least 8%. If we apply the same logic to natural light in meetings and conference rooms, we can avoid some of the issues standing in the way of productivity.
8%? Seems marginal
A case study of refurbishment and investment found that an increase of productivity in a US post office contributed over $500,000 in one year. How? By an increase of 8% in overall employee productivity. In one year that productivity boost more than covered the investment cost of the re-design.
Is natural light that important?
Natural light in a meeting room will help you combat the following issues:
- Zoning out
- Unproductive meetings later in the day
According to research by Mirjam Münch PhD and others, workers with a dosage of daylight are significantly more alert at the beginning of the evening.
Key tip: try to keep the meeting within the range of hours of daylight the UK receives.
Additionally, correct deployment of lighting in a conference room is not just as simple as natural light at all times. Dimming of lights and changing the colour / lighting of slides will change the pace of presentations and conference speeches.
How many hours of meetings do you have a week?
Meetings are expensive. According to a report by Sennheiser, the average UK office worker will sit through 6,239 meetings in their career, in which cost racks up in salary and billable hours. Interestingly, in addition to that statistic, 70% say they are constantly zoning out in meetings.
A productive meeting, even if you’re increasing the gain of 8%, will save you money directly and open up opportunities. However, a productive meeting does not rely on the environment alone. Just as important are:
- focussed agendas,
- meeting notes,
- clear next steps,
- hard time stops,
- and a tailored invite list.
Incorporating these into each meeting will increase your incremental gains and chip away at wasted time.