How can glass office partitions improve employee health?
There are undoubtedly many benefits of glass office partitions, but one of the most important is that they contribute to improving employee health. Providing a safe and supportive workspace is critical in keeping office employees happy and productive – so let’s take a look at how installing glass office partitions can help businesses to do this.
6 health benefits of glass office partitions
With the average worker in the UK spending at least 35.5 hours a week at their job, it makes sense for employers to create a comfortable workspace that not only allows their business to succeed, but also advocates for the wellbeing of their employees.
For office workers in particular, there are a profusion of health problems associated with this overly static profession. This makes implementing an open and encouraging environment even more of a pressing issue. Something as simple as glass partitions can have a substantial effect on employee health when used in smart ways – and here’s how.
1) More privacy
Despite the ongoing popularity of open-plan offices, people do need some degree of privacy to be productive. Using glass partitions to separate individual spaces from communal areas allows employees to get on with their work, without feeling cut off from colleagues around them.
If more visual privacy is required, you can use sections of frosted glass or apply designs called manifestations. This creates a greater sense of being in a private space without sacrificing light levels, increasing focus without making employees feel shut away and uncomfortably isolated.
2) Less noise
Another aspect of glass office partitions that can enhance privacy and help employees to avoid distractions is their noise-reducing capabilities. Trying to concentrate in a noisy environment or while conversations go on around you can result in stress, made worse by lowered productivity.
Single-glazed glass partitions provide soundproofing up to 44 decibels, muting the chatter and activity successfully enough without enforcing silence and feelings of isolation. Double-glazed glass partitions are even better for meeting areas, able to contain sound up to 55 decibels.
3) Collaborative atmosphere
While privacy and reduced distractions are important, human beings are social creatures. Even at work, people want to feel like they’re a part of things, and that their presence and contributions are valued. Glass partitions allow you to look up and see what’s happening around the office.
When workers are able to easily communicate with colleagues and don’t feel left out of the wider office atmosphere, this boosts morale and makes everyone feel more like part of a team. It also makes it easier for team members to seek help from managers rather than stressing alone.
4) Inspiring aesthetics
Looks aren’t everything, but they can influence your wellbeing more than you might think. For instance, being stuck in a dark and noisy place for several hours a day would soon make anyone feel anxious and glum. On the other hand, glass office partitions can make a room feel bright and airy.
Glass partitions look both elegant and modern, making employees are more likely to feel proud of where they work and pleased to come in every morning. You can also get creative with branding or other colourful manifestations on the glass, which in turn can boost employee creativity.
5) Improved safety
Safety is paramount in most situations, and toughened glass is a great choice for safe and strong space dividers. Some areas of the office should make use of fire-rated glass partitions and doors to improve fire safety, giving everyone more peace of mind in case an emergency occurs.
Additionally, free-standing glass screens are an excellent option when you want to slow the spread of bacteria and reduce employee sickness, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic. These partitions allow flexible movement, so you can put them wherever you need and want them to be.
6) Increased productivity
Everything above contributes to the overall comfort and happiness of employees. The more content people are at work, the less likely they are to develop physical or mental health issues due to the office environment, and the more productive they’ll be – pushing those all-important profits up.
Reduced absenteeism and a strong sense of teamwork with high morale makes for more efficient and committed workers, which surely every business wants. Who would have thought that glass office partitions could make such an impressive difference to everybody’s work?
5 advantages of letting natural light into your office
Did you notice that lighting pops up a lot throughout all of the points we listed above? The fact that glass partitions allow a greater amount of light to spread through the space is one of their biggest selling points – and arguably the most significant source of their health benefits.
In fact, a Harvard Business Review survey found that natural light was the top concern for office workers in North America. Without adequate natural lighting, employee wellbeing can quickly decrease. Of course, not every office building is going to have lots of large windows, but there are ways to make the most of the daylight from the windows that you do have.
One such method is by using glass office partitions instead of opaque walls to divide the office into smaller purpose-driven areas. You still benefit from private spaces without shutting out the natural light, which flows through the glass walls so that everyone can see and feel the sun during the day.
If you’re wondering why natural light is so important to human health, here are just some of the ways it can benefit the wellbeing of office workers – and therefore the businesses that employ them:
1) Boosting Vitamin D
Vitamin D is vital for helping our bodies to absorb minerals such as calcium and phosphates. Sunlight on the skin triggers the production of Vitamin D – if you don’t get enough, a Vitamin D deficiency can lead to bone pain and deformities. T-cells in our immune system also rely on Vitamin D to function properly, and a weak immune system leaves workers vulnerable to sickness.
2) Lowering blood pressure
A lack of physical activity and a lot of stress, which can be common conditions for office workers, leads to high blood pressure. This increases the risk of serious circulatory problems, like heart attacks and strokes. However, exposure to natural sunlight can actually reduce blood pressure by stimulating the production of nitric oxide, relaxing blood vessels.
3) Reducing computer-related conditions
The occupational hazards of using computers for hours every day include eye strain, blurred vision, tension headaches, and tiredness. However, a study overseen by Dr Alan Hedges at the University of Cornell found that these health problems were reduced by 51-63% in offices that optimised natural light, lessening the risk of employees developing Computer Vision Syndrome – which can drastically affect their ability to work.
4) Preventing Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a type of depression caused by a lack of exposure to natural light. It occurs most often in the winter months, when daylight hours are shorter. SAD has a negative impact on concentration, appetite, and stress levels in particular. Ensuring that employees receive adequate natural light can lower rates of SAD among your workforce.
5) Increasing energy
The previously mentioned study by Dr Hedges found that optimising the natural light in offices also reduced drowsiness by 56% for employees. Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that employees exposed to more daylight experienced longer and higher-quality sleep than employees exposed to less.
Natural light reduces fatigue and makes employees more attentive and energetic overall, which then translates to increased performance and therefore increased profits. With a minimum of 2% more productivity, a company could create an extra $100,000 (£73,365) a year per 100 employees.
The bottom line:
Business gains and losses are intricately connected to the environmental conditions that employees have to work in, so improving light flow with glass office partitions is a big step towards boosting their wellbeing. Less illness and unhappiness means fewer absences and a lower employee turnover, which is good news for the success of your company.
Purchase glass partitions to improve employee health
So, there you have it – the major benefits of glass partitions for making office workers healthier and happier. Modern life often means working indoors with short lunch breaks at least 5 days a week, but that doesn’t mean employees can’t enjoy natural light in a safe environment that fully supports their needs.
Take a look at the glass office partitions available from Glass Interiors today to find the perfect solution for not only visual and acoustic privacy, but also improving the wellbeing of your workers. When you’re ready to discuss your requirements, please get in touch with the Glass Interiors team to start designing the ideal glass partitions for your office.