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  • Natural light is an in-demand workplace perk, a recent study from Future Workplace found.
  • The Harvard Business Review reported on the findings, in which "access to natural light" beat out more conventional perks like on-site cafeterias and gyms.
  • Exposure to natural light has been linked to health benefits — and it may boost productivity.

Let there be natural light.

That's what some workplaces are clamouring for, often more so than fads like treadmill desks and dogs in the office, according to the Harvard Business Review.

Writing for HBR, Jeanne C. Meister of Future Workplace reported that the firm's recent survey of 1,614 North American employees found that "access to natural light and views of the outdoors" was the most popular perk of all, beating out other things like cafeterias, gyms, and on-site childcare.

But it's not a shocking upset when you consider the mood-enhancing benefits of natural light.

According to a 2014 article on North Carolina State University's Sustainability blog, natural light can protect your vision, supercharge your vitamin D storage, boost your mood, and even render you more productive.

A 2003 study of Sacramento Municipal Utility District employees found that those who had a good view out of a window performed better and accomplished tasks faster than their counterparts with worse views.

And anyone who's spent a whole day in a workspace with only a harsh, flickering ceiling light for company can attest to the superiority of natural light.

But despite these reported benefits and employee demand, the study found that access to natural light isn't as widespread as workers might like. The HBR reported that one-third of respondents in Future Workplace's study "feel that they don't get enough natural light in their workspace" and say it leads to exhaustion and glumness.

Still, the message from employees is clear: People want to see the light.

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