There have been countless gizmos and gadgets created to improve productivity in your workspace. It turns out that one of the best ways to make the people working in your office happier, more productive and even more focused may be to change out your window panes. A recent article in Fast Company elaborates on the discovery.
Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research in Germany have invented a new type of window that has a special .1-micrometer-thick inorganic coating that is optimized to transmit wavelengths between 450 and 500 nanometers, where the effects of blue light are most pronounced. Blue light is the part of the spectrum which promotes the balance of biorhythm-moderating hormones (and which traditional glass largely blocks). “The coating we’ve developed helps people to feel they can perform better and makes it less likely they will fall ill,” Dr. Jörn Probst says.
You could get more of this mood boosting light by taking a break and going outside, but a study shows that most Americans spend 90% of their time inside. The effects of the blue light can even be felt through a small window in a nearly sunless location.
The patent-pending Uniglas | Vital feel-good glass isn’t on the market yet, and still requires some tinkering. Says researcher Walther Glaubitt: “Up to now we’ve only applied our special coating to the side of the glass facing into the cavity between panes. In future we will also be coating the glazing’s exposed surfaces–in other words, the outside and the inside of the window. That will allow us to achieve around 95 percent light transmissivity at 460 nanometers.”