Daylighting (Or, Why You Should Go For a Walk)
February 9, 2012
If anyone tries to stage a coup for my patio-side corner office nook, I swear, I will defend it like a territorial raccoon. One of my favorite things about working here is looking beyond my computer at an angle of sunshine, and feeling the breeze through the sliding doors.
So Levi Jimenez doesn't have to work too hard to convince me why daylight and fresh air boost productivity.
If indoor air is high in carbon dioxide and low in oxygen, he says, "Your body starts to think it's nighttime and go into that sleepy hibernative state. If you take away oxygen, you start to become a zombie."
He gives me a study that finds people in windowed office spaces spend 15 percent more time on work-related tasks than people in windowless batcaves. They're also able to work without artificial light 18 percent of the time, which means lower electricity bills.
The LEED calculus of daylighting is a little complicated. Jimenez and his comrades at BuildingWise are measuring the windows around each of the Weekly's work spaces, calculating window-to-floor ratios and making sure the windows can be opened. ('Cause a sealed-shut window on a 70-degree day like today would just be cruel.)
It's not a bad idea, Jimenez adds, to get up and go for a power-walk around the block just as you hit that procrastination wall, when online shopping and Facebook do a little two-step around urgent work deadlines in the priority line. Sharper focus when you get back to your desk makes up for the short break.
Which reminds me—I'll be back in 10.