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A Glaring Issue: The Negative Implications of Glare in the Workplace

By Derek Malmquist, Vice President of Marketing

May. 12, 2016

The proof is in the data! According to a recent study commissioned by SageGlass, in partnership with its parent company, Saint-Gobain, one of the world’s largest building materials companies, there are many causes of discomfort in the workplace. The national survey revealed that many office workers have limited access to daylight, experience poor air quality and uncomfortable temperatures and are distracted by excessive noise in the workplace.

The findings of this research emphasize the need to improve the quality of the office environment by creating spaces that are built to benefit employee well-being, which can have a strong impact on productivity, innovation and ultimately, a company’s bottom line.

However, here at SageGlass, we were particularly interested to see that out of the 400 employees surveyed, almost half (49 percent) are interrupted by sun glare at least periodically in the workplace. Of this group, 30 percent complained that the glare caused eye pain, gives them a headache (24 percent) and/or makes them feel annoyed (23 percent) or distracted (23 percent).

Interestingly, nearly half (47 percent) felt their organization would be interested in being able to adjust the tint in the windows in their building to control the lighting and block glare and excess heat without having to pull down blinds or shades – which is where we come in!

With dynamic glass’ ability to optimize daylight and comfort, employees no longer have to worry about troublesome glare reflecting off computer screens. Furthermore, dynamic glass allows building occupants to maintain a connection to the outdoors, which has been shown to reduce negative workplace symptoms, including absenteeism, loss of focus, negative mood and poor health. According to a study at the University of Oregon, 10 percent of employee absences could be attributed to office environments that did not offer employees a connection to the outdoors. In fact, the study found that a person’s view was the primary predictor of absenteeism.

If the average person works 46.5 hours per week, why aren’t we providing them with an office environment more conducive to their success? It’s time to improve the office experience by providing a connection to natural daylight while simultaneously preventing glare, and dynamic glass may present the perfect solution.