One of the most common gripes levelled against the venerable office cubicle is that once you are settled into your cube even indirect sunlight has no chance of finding you. It could be sunny, rainy, night or day outside and as long as you are hard at work in your cubicle you might as well be on a different planet. While this is true for the most part – it’s possible that you occupy that one cubicle in a hundred that opens toward a window – the question is: does it matter?
Anyone who has ever worked in a cubicle will tell you that it most certainly does, to them. But does it actually matter in a scientifically verifiable way? Is there some kind of proof that natural light is important to us, our lives and our general well-being? The answer is “yes”, and here are some of the reasons your mind and body crave the light of the sun.
- Sunlight boosts production of Vitamin D which is key to healthy skin.
- Sunlight increases melatonin production which affects your body’s internal clock.
- Regular exposure to sunlight has a positive effect on mood.
- Studies suggest a link between lack of sunlight and hypertension.
Demountable Wall Systems – Filling A Vital Need
As evidence regarding the adverse effects of sunlight deprivation on your health mounted in recent years it became obvious to everyone from the CEO to the office manager to the benefits manager that real-world, cost effective solutions were needed to promote a healthy workplace environment, stem the tide of worker health claims and restore trust and goodwill between management and staff. Proposed solutions included:
- Adding More Light – One commonly proposed solution was to simply add more artificial light. This seems like an easy way to solve a complex problem but, unfortunately, prolonged exposure to fluorescent lighting can create a variety of health issues of its own, from skin conditions to increased aggression to eye-strain, headaches and depression. Simply replacing natural light with banks of fluorescent lighting was never going to be the answer and in some ways only exacerbated the problem.
- Removing All Internal Walls – Others suggested the way to go was to rid the office environment of walls altogether. But while the wall-less office seems like another logical solution to the problem of too many walls blocking the sun the truth is that the cubicle itself was, in part, designed as a direct response to the chaos and confusion that reigned in the cavernous, wall-free offices of the 1930s and 40s.
So, it’s never been an issue of whether walls are necessary, they are. It’s really a matter of how many, placed where and what type. The need has always been for a practical, affordable, aesthetically pleasing solution that takes everyone’s interests to heart.
Glass Panel Modular Walls: The Multi-Faceted Solution
After years of searching many companies have recently discovered that modular wall systems in general and glass panel modular components in particular are the answer they have been looking for. Smart placement of these state of the art demountable wall systems can open up the interior of even the largest office space to beneficial sunlight while retaining an appropriate degree of order and even enhancing productivity.
But besides the obvious health-related advantages demountable wall systems provide your business, there are a number of practical advantages you will want to consider as well when deciding whether glass panel, modular wall systems are for you, such as:
- Ease of Maintenance – In the event of spills or other types of staining standard office walls more often than not require expensive repainting. This is not the case for glass panel modular walls. If for some reason your co-worker’s coffee winds up on the glass panel clean up is a simple matter of selecting your favourite glass cleaner and wiping away the problem.
- Aesthetically Pleasing – Your glass panel demountable wall system will not only cut maintenance time and costs and allow the sun to penetrate into your office space, it will also create a visually appealing environment that will impress your clients and boost employee morale.
- Can Offer Openness or Privacy Depending on Your Needs – You might think that replacing the opaque walls of the cubicle with transparent glass panel architectural walls will result in a loss of privacy but this is not the case. For those enclosures that may occasionally require a higher degree of privacy glass panel modular walls can be combined with curtains or retractable blinds that will add to the overall aesthetic of the space while at the same time fulfilling your discretionary needs.
- Bacteria Resistant – Glass is simply not as welcoming a home to bacteria as other surfaces like plaster, wood or even plastic. A demountable wall solution that includes glass panels creates a more hygienic environment for your entire staff.
- Added Safety – When you think of glass panels you may think “safety issue” but the fact is that demountable wall systems with tempered glass panels can actually be far less susceptible to incidental damage than plaster or drywall. Should you operate in a location susceptible to natural calamities like hurricanes, panels are also available that can withstand major shocks while maintaining their structural integrity.
The problems generated by sunlight deprivation in modern offices are complex and have a long history. Until recently many wondered if there would ever be a solution that responded to both the legitimate demands of staff and the equally legitimate economic interests of the company at large. Today, with the advent of demountable wall systems that incorporate tempered glass panels, employees can enjoy the healthy workspace they have always wanted while management can operate knowing that their new architectural walls will respond to their future organizational needs quickly, effectively and affordably. Win-win situations don’t come much more clear cut than that.