Fish Window Cleaning Blog

The Secret Value of Professional Window Cleaning for Your Business
Posted on Monday, August 1st 2022


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If you have ever had your windows professionally cleaned at your business, you likely thought of it as a good property maintenance investment. Clean windows provide curb appeal to your business, just as they do for your home. Window cleaners also provide some preventative maintenance for your building, catching any damaged areas or pest issues that might otherwise go unnoticed. While these are certainly valid reasons to have clean windows, a view from the outside isn't the only view that produces results. Like many things in life, it's the inside that really counts.  
When we are indoors, windows are our connections to natural light. Natural light is a key source of vitamin D, which is why it is often called the "sunshine vitamin." When exposed to the sun, your skin can manufacture its own vitamin D, and this helps reduce the risk of heart disease, weight gain, and various cancers. The glass in a window blocks the sun's UVB rays, which are required to make vitamin D, so you cannot increase your vitamin D by working indoors near a window. However, your window can be a reminder to take your break or eat your lunch outside because it seems like such a nice day.

Most people spend a lot of their daytime hours working indoors and making decisions on going outside based on looking out the window. Just like our parents used to tell us, "It'll do you some good to get outside." That old adage still holds true today.

The Physical Health Benefits of Windows

Studies on the benefits of windows to the natural environment and health have been around for decades, such as a widely-cited 1984 study on gallbladder recovery patients in a Pennsylvania hospital. The study showed that patients who had a room with a window view of a natural setting had shorter postoperative stays, commented more positively on their hospital experience, and required fewer pain relief medications than those with a view of a brick wall.

A pre-pandemic study in Harvard Business Review found that access to natural light and views of the outdoors was the favored attribute of the workplace environment. Employees without access to natural light reported that they felt tired (47%) and gloomy (43%).

The same study also noted that employees in daylight office environments had a 51% drop in the incidence of eyestrain, a 63% drop in headaches, and a 56% reduction in drowsiness.

Another contributor to eyestrain, headaches, and drowsiness comes from fluorescent lights in offices. While an inexpensive option for business, this kind of lighting doesn't help with employee productivity, mental health, or sleep. There is something to the prevalence of natural light in the workplace. Interestingly, the Harvard study noted that some European Union countries have updated their building codes to require proximity to windows for employees due to its impact on the employee experience!

Architectural design is also incorporating the value of windows in a design process called "daylighting." This is when buildings are designed to use light from the sun. This can be done for health reasons as well as to reduce energy demand. Other ways to add light include entry door windows, transom windows, skylights, and window walls.

The Mental Health Benefits of Windows

Employee well-being is certainly a hot topic as we emerge from the pandemic. As employers look for ways to make employees feel better at their workplace, windows might shed some light on how to do that in an impactful way. Being able to provide natural light in the workspace seems to hit on a lot of worker-related health benefits, perhaps more so than free snacks in the break room.

While the summer gives us an extended amount of daylight to enjoy, in the fall and winter seasons, it can seem like we go to work in the dark and come home from work in the dark. For many Americans, a change of seasons can also bring on a change in mood, often known as seasonal affective disorder or SAD. Reduced levels of sunlight cause low energy levels and low levels of vitamin D. If you can maximize daylight in your work environment, you will have a new kind of preventative maintenance — preventing employees from being negatively impacted by the reduced daylight hours of the change of seasons.

For employees who have shifted to a hybrid or complete work-from-home arrangement, the same principles of accessing daylight apply. Encourage employees to choose a room with natural light as their working space, and you can reap the benefits.

If your workspace or home office doesn't have a lot of natural light flowing in, there are ways to increase natural light in your space. They include adding mirrors to bounce the natural light to other areas and going without window coverings on your windows to maximize the natural light coming in. You can complement these changes with a lightened decor, using light furniture and minimizing decorative objects.

There have also been studies on how light impacts your sleep patterns. The CDC talks about the effects of light on circadian rhythms — the natural physical and mental state your body goes through during a regular day. Your body's response to light is to be awake, so if you increase your amount of light during the day, you will be more alert. A Sleep Journal study found that employees who had windows and natural light in their offices slept an average of 46 minutes more per night.

The Inside Scoop on Clean Windows

In our professional window cleaning business, most property owners and managers don't call us because our work improves employee health and well-being; our work is judged almost entirely on outside results. The truth is, clean windows do a lot more for your business than improve property maintenance — they also have some significant health benefits that may make you look at windows in a whole new light. Having been in this business for many years, you learn to look at the value of clean windows in a different way, and from different points of view.

Businesses are working harder than ever before to attract and retain employees, and if clean windows and an abundance of natural light can help with that, why not capitalize on it? We aren't architects, or designers, or mental health practitioners, but we know what it means to have clean windows. Sometimes it's the little touches that make the biggest difference.

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