The Importance of Natural Light in an Office Environment

What Employees Want and Need From Their Workplace

At this day and age when many offices are located in high-rise buildings and urban areas, having access to nature or anything natural in general can be a challenge. Many would hope for garden or ocean views right outside their office window, but instead, they’re faced with large slabs of concrete from neighbouring buildings. Even worse, some employees don’t even have windows close to their office desks at all.

Truth be told, one has to remain very competitive in order to find a good job. If one wants to work in a nice office, he must have an edge over everyone else who is also doing his or her best to get that much-coveted desk. While there are plenty of jobs available in most areas across the world, not a lot of people manage to land one. In fact, some are just grateful when they’re hired and so they dare not complain or ask more than what the company offers.

However, it is an employer’s responsibility to ensure that their employees are happy and satisfied. By doing so, these employees will gladly stay loyal to the company, work better, and become more productive. In fact, many companies are starting to pay attention to what their employees want. They send out surveys, make time for team meetings, and even one-on-one sessions.

A study by Oxford Economics, What Matters Most at Work, concluded that good compensation is most important to employees. After surveying 5,500 employees including executives in 27 countries, they found that employees also appreciate bonuses and rewards, flexible work locations, training programs, vacation time, and retirement plans among many others. According to the study, one of the top factors that can affect an employee’s satisfaction is the office environment or workplace amenities. (https://www.oxfordeconomics.com/publication/open/261331)

So what does an office have to have for it to be a good one? Aside from a nice desk, a working computer, a pantry, coffee break area, and other features, what else could employees be looking for? One has to keep in mind that these employees are different people who are gathered in one place together. They are unique individuals who have varied preferences. If one surveys all employees and gives in to all of their needs as an individual, then the company’s resources may not be enough. The best solution is to look at them as humans. What do humans need, first and foremost?

The primary needs of humans including food, shelter, and clothing are probably the very reasons why these employees are working in the first place. An employer must now have to give them what makes them comfortable and at ease while at work. For instance, proper ventilation, regulated temperature, clean surroundings, and more are necessary. Among the best things one can also offer to their employees is natural lighting.

The Advantages of Natural Light in the Office

Many offices rely on lights powered by electricity. They choose to keep the blinds or the curtains closed at all times. If the office features floor to ceiling glass windows, these are usually heavily tinted to keep too much sunlight away from the office. Another study even confirmed that natural light is the top perk any employee can get in an office. (https://hbr.org/2018/09/the-1-office-perk-natural-light)

While there might be a few disadvantages when using natural light in an office environment, these advantages surely outweigh all of them.

1. Natural light offers vitamin D and other health benefits. 

One can take all the vitamins and supplements he wants, but nothing beats the natural thing. Sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D. While one can get most of it outdoors, he can still get his daily dose of the D vitamin when he has access to natural light indoors. Furthermore, more health benefits are offered by natural light. In fact, experts say that being exposed to natural light for a significant time during the day help promote better sleep. In general, natural light can greatly help an employee’s overall health and wellness. (https://www.healthline.com/health/natural-light-benefits)

2. Enjoy more energy savings with natural light. 

Even if an office uses supposedly energy efficient light bulbs, more energy savings become possible by using natural light. Especially during hours when the sun is shining brightly, the office will surely be well lit even the light switches are kept off. In addition, some studies found how artificial light sources such as fluorescent lamps may pose health risks. Using those light sources less often can reduce these risks greatly.

3. The seasonal affective disorder can be avoided. 

Some people feel a little sadder or less cheerful during the winter season. There are others who can’t wait to get home when it’s a “bed weather” day. It gets more difficult to stay alert and be productive on those days when the sun is not shining as bright because of a coming storm or just because the day is extra gloomy than usual. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a real thing and there are chances employees can get SAD when they don’t see natural sunlight all day.

4. Expect better employee productivity with natural light. 

A Cornell University study found that eyestrain and headaches in employees are greatly reduced when they have the right amount of natural light in the office. When the wellness of employees is given importance, they become more productive. In fact, one of the most important findings of this study says that employees who are working next to a window where there is natural light offer a productivity increase of 2%.

How to Get Natural Light Into Your Office

After learning more about the benefits of natural light in an office environment, then it’s probably time to make some changes. There are plenty of ways to get natural light into the office. Even those who are not sitting next to a window can even get some sunlight in the day. Here are some suggestions:

1. Keep the curtains open. 

With more business using a virtual office and having their staff work remotely, its important that staff are getting plently of natural light from their home office. Curtains must be kept open for longer periods of time during the day. There are some hours during the day when the sun is shining too bright. This may make it harder for employees to work on their computers because of the light’s glare. It is best to keep the curtains or blinds down during these hours. Lighter coloured curtains and blinds may also be considered.

2. Consider floor-to-ceiling windows. 

Floor-to-ceiling windows allow more natural light to come in. If it gets too bright during the day, these windows can be lightly tinted. Curtains and blinds may also be used during some hours.

3. Install sun tunnels.

This is most effective when an office is located in a low-rise building or close to the top floor of a building. Sun tunnels are openings from the roof area so that natural sunlight can come in. More experienced contractors can even build this for more complicated spaces such as closets, inner rooms, and other areas where there’s no direct access to the roof.

Many companies offer amazing perks to their employees. Some would even make their workplaces unique, fun, and sometimes even crazy just to make sure their employees are happy and satisfied. The office must never be a dreadful place. It must be one that an employee would happily look forward to every day. Making the office a human-friendly place is not such a difficult thing. If a company offers something as simple as a human need like natural light in an office environment, then they’re already on their way to a good start.


Best Networking Quotes for Newbies and Pros Alike

Best Networking Quotes for Newbies and Pros Alike

For one who is seeking inspiration to become better in his or her career or business, here are some of the best networking quotes. These quotes may seem like simple words, but they sure helped a lot of people in many ways. Some used these quotes to jumpstart an idle mind searching for something to spark their creativity. Others fired up the sleeping flame inside of them.

Networking is all about being connected, interacting with others, and building relationships. In fact, being a great networker requires skill that not just anybody can possess. It is very understandable if one looks for tips, techniques, and even just inspirations when they start building or growing their network. 

What is Networking? 

If you ask a group of people what networking means to them, you’re most likely going to get a variety of answers. Some would relate networking to computers or anything that involves IT. There are others who

would say something about pyramiding schemes. Investopedia defines networking as a process that involves people or groups sharing the same interests. When these people exchange ideas, knowledge, and

information in a social or business setting, they are networking. (https://www.investopedia.com/terms/n/networking.asp) 

Building one’s network takes time and effort. It can be as simple as 1-2-3 for some, but networking can be challenging for others. Many would say that if you’re someone who’s confident enough to speak with a lot of people including strangers, then growing your network can be easy for you. If you refuse to get out of your shell and choose to stay within your own little world, then building a network can be difficult. 

Once you realize the importance of networking, you will be surprised at how beneficial it can be to you. Whether you are a business owner or if you’re looking to enrich your professional career, knowing how to build, grow, and maintain your network is definitely an advantage. Truth be told, not everybody can become a good networker. If you believe that you’re great in it, then you should continue to nourish and care for that skill. If there’s a lot of room for you to improve your networking skills, then look for inspiration and start working on achieving your goals today. 

10 Inspiring Quotes to Unleash Your Networking Power

Once you find the inspiration you need, make sure you act upon it. Don’t waste time and before you know it, you will become better than you’ve ever been before. You might find some of the quotes below relatable if you’ve been into networking for quite some time now or if you already have an existing network. If you’re a first-timer, these quotes can be very inspirational. There are plenty of lessons to learn so make sure you’re taking notes. 

1. Effective networking isn’t a result of luck — it requires hard work and persistence. – Lewis Howes

2. Networking is not about just connecting people. It’s about connecting people with people, people with ideas, and people with opportunities. – Michele Jennae

3. The richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work. – Robert T. Kiyosaki

4. Networking is about making meaningful, lasting connections that lead to one-to-one relationships. – Les Garnas

5. Networking is not about hunting. It is about farming. It’s about cultivating relationships. Don’t engage in premature solicitation. You’ll be a better networker if you remember that. – Dr. Ivan Misner

6. Position yourself as a center of influence, the one who knows the movers and shakers. People will respond to that, and you’ll soon become what you project. – Bob Burg

7. The way of the world is meeting people through other people. – Robert Kerrigan

8. If you want 1 year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people. – Chinese Proverb

9. Networking is marketing. Marketing yourself, marketing your uniqueness, marketing what you stand for.  – Christine Comaford-Lynch

10. A really important part of networking is actually about what you bring to the table-not just what you want to get out of it. Contribution is a big part of networking success. – Gina Romero

How to Start Building or Growing Your Network

If the networking quotes above didn’t inspire you, no one knows what will. It is your choice to be inspired. It is your decision if you want to start building or growing your network whether you’re inspired or not. If you have no idea how to start building or growing your network, the tips below might be able to help you out. 

1. Make time for networking every single day. 

While conferences, seminars, and other events might not be available for you to attend every day, there are other ways to build your network. As earlier mentioned, networking takes time and effort. Make sure you hand out your business card to someone today or the other way around. Even when you’re at home or in the office, you can make time to build your network. Use social media. The Internet is a blessing for those who are into networking. The possibilities to expand and grow your network online are simply limitless. 

2. Be open-minded. Your thoughts, ideas, and knowledge aren’t all there is in the world. 

Start thinking out of the box. Be open to other people’s suggestions. You are not the only great person in the world. There are plenty more just like you. You’ll be surprised when you choose to learn from and connect with people who never seemed to be like a perfect fit for your current network. When you’re networking, keep your eyes, ears, and mind open. 

3. Networking is not just about taking what benefits you. Be prepared to give.

Networking is a give and take relationship. You have to put something on the table so that others would want to have you in their network too. Think of it this way — even if you consider one to be part of your network, if he doesn’t include you in his network because he can’t get anything out of you, then that connection is pretty much useless. 

4. Be selective of who you add to your network without closing your doors completely to others you chose to leave out.

“You never know when someone might say yes.” There’s confusion, even disagreements when it comes to this quote among networkers. Others think that one should never be selective because you might just miss out on people who could have been a great part of your network. There are some would say that it’s a waste of time. You should be focused on your target. Be someone who would go in between. Be selective without closing your doors to anyone. 

5. Always be kind. 

A quote from Robert Kerrigan above says, “The way of the world is meeting people through other people.” Having the opportunity to meet people who will eventually connect you with other people further becomes way easier when you’re kind. Some people spend thousands of dollars just to get into the biggest conferences for networking. Being kind is free. Kindness can guarantee at least a few of the best people on your network.  

Truth be told, the tips above are mostly things you probably already know about. These are things you’ve learned even before you spent time reading through this entire page. Use them as a reminder. It’s nice to be reminded of the important things in life, or in this case, in networking. Even if these are things you already have on the back of our mind, being reminded of them may help you to finally step up and be on top of your networking game.


Co-Working Space: Ideal Next Step Or An Overpriced Virtual Office

Is Co-working the Right Move?

Co-working space is popping up all over the place. Without even doing a Google search, I can think of 9 co-working offices in and around Cardiff and thats just off the top of my head. These offices are trendy, communal working environments where multiple freelancers and business owners share the same space. The idea is that you can get all the benefits of having an office, i.e. working space, social environment etc, without the drawbacks, i.e. expensive rent, office upkeep etc. The question is whether or not it is worth it.

First things first lets look at pricing.

Pricing

The majority of Co-working tenants are one man bands so price is a extremely important consideration. Most of the co-working spaces in Cardiff that I have looked into have been between £180-£300/mo. This type of price works well for most, but I can’t understand why there isn’t any cheaper options. After all, you can get your own office for less than £300/mo and have room for a few more of your co working buddies.

Its impossible to know whether or not it is worth it before you break down exactly what you want from the co working office.

Why?

If you want to give your business come credibility by having an actual office address rather than a home address, then you might as well use a Virtual Office service in Cardiff and save yourself 3 grand a year.

On the other hand, if you want to build your network (and practice these networking quotes) or simply need an office community in your day to day life, then co-working is a perfect solution. After all, no-one likes being stuck at home all day.

In summary, co-working isn’t any cheaper than renting an actual office but what it offers is something that is largely lost from the millennial generation. The number of young professionals setting out to make it for themselves is growing year on year. This is amazing because you work on your own terms, you lunch when you want to and you are making money for yourself and not a boss. The drawback to all of this, which many fail to identify, is the loneliness of being an entrepreneur suck behind a screen all day in your bedroom. It takes tremendous growth to be at the point where you have an office full of people working for you and keeping you sane, and THIS is exactly what co-working has to offer


Qatar Airways increases travel in Cardiff

Qatar Airways working on increasing travel traffic at Cardiff

Qatar Airways have recently announced an increase in the number of passengers using the Cardiff-Doha route. This is an improvement when compared to the slow patronage they had when the route was first announced.

Qatar Airways expressed their dissatisfaction about the low turnout of passengers for the newly launched route. This was announced in July when Akbar Al Baker, the Chief Executive Officer of the airport was speaking to the press. He further went on to say that they were hoping that things would change for Cardiff with time.

Between the 1st of May and late August, it was revealed that approximately 30,000 travellers used the route—August being the month with the highest traffic (These statistics were obtained from the Civil Aviation Authority).

Though it is quite early to be certain whether the Cardiff-Doha course would yield enough profit. The present projection for the end of the first year is a passenger traffic of 90,000 compared to a 150,000 capacity.

The Cardiff airport belongs to the government of Wales and they have injected funds into the route to cement the relationship between the airport and Qatar Airways. In July, the British Broadcasting Corporation revealed that the government of Wales in a bid to market the country would pay £1million to the Qatar Airways over a duration of 2 years. This has opened up opportunities for Exporters in Wales. The twitter account of Cardiff Airport made a tweet last week about how several organizations had started seizing this opening. Many have already boarded flights to Doha to market their goods to distributors.

Marketing a new route for any carrier often takes a duration of a year before you can be certain if it is going to be a success or failure. Qatar Airways’ success at marketing the Cardiff-Doha route will be determined by several things. Some of them are:

  • Where a passenger will be coming from and the worth of currency in that area. Passengers from a low currency region will not generate as much profit compared to someone from an optimal currency region.
  • The flow of traffic using the business class and the economy class of the airline.
  • The number of goods which are separately transported in bulk by the airline is also great factor
  • Where passengers are travelling to also matters. This is because travellers who are going straight to Doha and nowhere else will produce more profit than those who are travelling on from there to other places. Though it is important to note that those travelling on from Doha will help the total network of the airline.

All these factors considered, there is great optimism that this new route will end up being a success.