A window into the workplace—and a better day at work

Natural light and stunning windows can bring an office to life

It’s no surprise that having access to windows and the natural light they bring can lead to a better day at work. The good news is many companies have realized the benefits of having a workspace with as many windows as possible.

Those benefits include the ability to focus better and put less strain on the eyes. In one study by a Cornell professor in the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis, workers in offices that had daylight reported an 84 percent drop in symptoms of eyestrain, headaches, and blurred vision, all of which can derail productivity.

In addition, the study found that workers who sit close to a window and have daylight exposure reported a 2 percent increase in productivity. While that might not sound like much, if you crunch numbers based on the amount of days in the workweek and the number of employees, a few windows can have a high ROI.

On the flip side, sitting all day under fluorescent lights in a windowless space could add to worker irritability and help fuel more serious conditions like seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Another 2018 report by the UK company Staples found that 80 percent of office workers said that having good lighting in their workspace is important to them; about one-third said better lighting would actually make them happier at work. 

The bottom line? Organizations should invest in windows that provide their workforce with natural light. Get inspired by these WeWork locations that not only provide lots of natural light, but also incorporate stunning designs and functionality into their windows.

Windows all around

No matter which corner of the office you venture into at WeWork 1 Boylston in Boston, you’ll never feel like you’re stuck in a dark, drab space. The large windows around the perimeter, along with the skylights above, bring in tons of natural light.

A park bench inside

When working in the cozy nook next to the floor-to-ceiling arched window in WeWork 2 Minster Court in London, it feels as if you’re outside on a park bench. Whether you want to work while occasionally pausing to people-watch, or you are just taking a brain break by the window, it’s a lovely and relaxing retreat from the desk.

Grand entrance

Both from the outside looking in and from inside the reception area of WeWork Chromium in Mumbai, the sprawling windows with diamond-shaped metal panes are stunning. The airy space is perfect for greeting office visitors or for a quick meeting in the waiting area. 

A terrace-like feel

You almost feel as if you’re enjoying lunch on the veranda when you step into this common area at WeWork 92 Champs-Élysées in Paris. The curved shape of the room and floor-to-ceiling windows envelop members while they take a break or have an impromptu meeting with colleagues.

A wall of windows 

Majestic views is an appropriate description of what members at WeWork Artz Pedregal in Mexico City get to experience from their offices each day. The entire facade of this space is made of windows that provide a peaceful view of greenery and the distant skyline.

Greenhouse effect

Some windows are all about the views, but these unique ones at WeWork Avic Capital Tower in Beijing are a sight unto themselves. With greenery running along the bottom, they evoke a greenhouse-like feel, making for a bright and vibrant workspace. 

A pop of color

The window pictured here at WeWork Trinity Place in Shanghai pulls double-duty as a room brightener and an accent wall. The colorful stained glass in the center of the window becomes the focal point of the space and showcases the artistic style of the region.

Peek outside

In a perfect world, every window would have a window seat for those moments when you want to pause and take a peek at the world outside. WeWork 5161 Lankershim Boulevard in Los Angeles has the right idea by adding cushioned seating and pillows to encourage workers to take five.

This article was originally published on January 14, 2020, and has been updated throughout by the editors.

Dawn Papandrea is a freelance writer who covers work, personal finance, and higher education. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Family Circle and Monster.com. Follow her on Twitter.

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