10 Key Benefits of Natural light at Workplace: It Increases your Short-Term Memory

Anosha Younas | June 21, 2023

When it comes to creating a productive and healthy work environment, factors like office layout, furniture, and technology often take center stage. However, one crucial element that is often overlooked is the presence of natural light. Natural light has a profound impact on our mood, health, and cognitive abilities and one of its significant benefits in the workplace is its positive effect on our short-term memory. Here, we will delve into the benefits of natural light in the workplace and explore why it plays a vital role in creating a positive and efficient work environment.

  1. Boosts Mood and Well-being

Exposure to natural light has a profound effect on our mood and well-being. Sunlight triggers the brain to release serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of happiness and well-being, and helps regulate mood. A well-lit workplace can help employees feel more positive, energized, motivated, and engaged, leading to increased productivity and job satisfaction.

In contrast, dimly lit or artificially lit spaces can have a negative impact on mental health, potentially leading to feelings of lethargy, fatigue, and even depression, ultimately affecting productivity and engagement. Natural light offers a healthier and more uplifting alternative, creating an environment that fosters creativity, focus, and overall well-being.

  1. Creativity and Innovation

Natural light has been found to stimulate creativity and foster innovative thinking. A well-lit environment can help employees think more clearly, generate fresh ideas, and approach problem-solving from different angles. Natural light enhances visual perception, color recognition, and depth perception, all of which contribute to a more creative work environment. Organizations that prioritize natural light in their workplaces can create a conducive atmosphere for ideation and innovation, leading to increased productivity and competitive advantage.

  1. Circadian Rhythm Alignment

Natural light exposure helps regulate our circadian rhythm, which controls our sleep-wake cycle. When our internal clock is aligned with the natural light-dark cycle, our cognitive functions, including memory, are optimized. Being in sync with the natural rhythm ensures that we are alert and mentally sharp, supporting better short-term memory performance.

  1. Improves Sleep Patterns

Natural light exposure during the day helps regulate our sleep patterns, leading to better quality sleep at night. By improving our sleep quality, natural light indirectly supports our short-term memory by facilitating the consolidation of newly acquired information. When we receive sufficient natural light during the day, our bodies produce the hormone melatonin at the right time, promoting better sleep quality at night. Adequate sleep is crucial for cognitive function, memory retention, and concentration—all vital components of productivity. By incorporating natural light into the workplace, organizations can help employees maintain healthy sleep patterns and, consequently, enhance their productivity. A well-rested employee is more likely to be alert, attentive, and productive at work.

  1. Enhances Visual Comfort:

Artificial lighting, especially harsh fluorescent lighting, can cause eye strain, headaches, and general discomfort for employees. Natural light, however, provides a softer and more evenly distributed illumination that is easier on the eyes. Exposure to natural light has also been linked to reduced symptoms of eyestrain, blurred vision, and dryness minimizing the risk of headaches and other discomforts associated with poor lighting conditions. When employees are free from physical discomfort, they can focus more efficiently and effectively on their tasks, ultimately boosting productivity.

  1. Supports Physical Health

In addition to its positive effects on mental well-being, natural light also has significant benefits for physical health. Exposure to sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D, a nutrient essential for bone health, immune function, and overall vitality. Spending time in well-lit spaces during the day ensures that employees receive an adequate amount of sunlight and vitamin D, which can positively impact their overall health and vitality.

  1. Improves Focus and Cognitive Performance

A well-lit workplace can significantly improve focus and cognitive performance. Research indicates that exposure to natural light stimulates brain activity, leading to enhanced concentration, memory, and cognitive function. It can help reduce errors, improve information processing and decision-making skills, leading to more accurate and efficient work.

In contrast, poor lighting conditions, such as fluorescent lighting or a lack of natural light, can cause visual discomfort and reduce cognitive performance, slower task completion, and an overall decline in productivity. By incorporating natural light into the workplace, employers can create an environment that supports mental clarity, creativity, and optimal cognitive functioning.

  1. Promotes Biophilic Design:

Biophilic design aims to reconnect people with nature by incorporating natural elements into the built environment. Natural light is a fundamental component of biophilic design, and exposure to it can reduce stress levels, improve cognitive function, and enhance productivity. Incorporating elements of nature, including natural light, into the workplace design fosters a positive and inspiring atmosphere.

  1. Supports Environmental Sustainability:

Utilizing natural light reduces the dependence on artificial lighting, thus reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions. By harnessing natural light, companies can contribute to environmental sustainability, lowering their ecological footprint while creating a healthier and eco-friendlier workplace.

  1. Enhances Employee Satisfaction and Retention:

A workplace that prioritizes natural light is perceived as more inviting, pleasant, and employee-centric. Natural light creates a positive work environment, enhances employee satisfaction, and contributes to a healthier work-life balance. Companies that invest in providing a well-lit workspace are more likely to retain top talent.


Natural light has a multitude of benefits for the workplace, positively impacting the well-being, productivity, and overall performance of employees. By harnessing the power of sunlight, employers can create a work environment that promotes creativity, happiness, focus, and physical health.

Introducing natural light into the workplace can be achieved through various strategies, such as maximizing window space, using light-colored walls and reflective surfaces, and providing employees with access to outdoor areas. By prioritizing natural light, employers demonstrate their commitment to the well-being and success of their employees.

So, the next time you design or evaluate your workspace, remember the tremendous impact that natural light can have on your team and the organization’s success. Embrace the power of sunlight and create a bright, positive, and productive work environment.