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Can You Dig It

Fueling productivity, from the outside in

PHOTO/BRIAN PEDERSEN A look outside from inside the new Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America's regional headquarters in Hanover Township, Northampton County. Lots of light enters the office building thanks to the many large windows used throughout its design.
PHOTO/BRIAN PEDERSEN A look outside from inside the new Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America's regional headquarters in Hanover Township, Northampton County. Lots of light enters the office building thanks to the many large windows used throughout its design.

More and more, I appreciate the outdoors. This is especially true as the days get darker and the opportunities for getting that natural daylight drop faster than the leaves from the trees.

A recent tour through the new regional headquarters for Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America in Hanover Township, Northampton County, showcased what office buildings today can achieve when there’s real thought behind the people occupying these spaces.

While there are lots of perks, from private, comfy seating areas to a cool coffee bar and well-stocked cafeteria and gym, it’s the many ways glass is used throughout the building to let the natural light in that make it a place you want to be.

Countless studies have revealed the benefits of getting outside, particularly if you spend most of your work day indoors. But even if you can’t get outside for that midday walk, the ability to work in an environment that lets in lots of natural daylight has countless benefits.

People feel better knowing there’s a world outside their workplace, and having large, open windows reminds them of it. All they have to do is look away from their screens.

Buildings use much less energy when more natural light comes in so there’s cost savings too.

There’s something about transparency that makes people feel more productive, more energetic and livelier, and that, of course, can pay dividends in the workplace. You can see other people and, in most cases, they can see you, too, creating a more collaborative and productive atmosphere.

It’s natural for people to want to be outside, or at least view the outside world. The way architects and planners are designing these buildings is helping people fulfill this basic need.

Plus, there’s no denying that they look darn impressive, raising the bar for other office buildings yet to be designed.

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