Why we need more nature at work: Effects of natural elements and sunlight on employee mental health and work attitudes

Mihyang An, Stephen M. Colarelli, Kimberly O'Brien, Melanie E. Boyajian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigated the effects of natural elements and direct and indirect sunlight exposure on employee mental health and work attitudes. We recruited participants via an online panel from the United States and India, and analyzed data from 444 employees. Natural elements and sunlight exposure related positively to job satisfaction and organizational commitment, and negatively to depressed mood and anxiety. Direct sunlight was a dominant predictor of anxiety; indirect sunlight was a dominant predictor of depressed mood, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment. Natural elements buffered the relationship between role stressors and job satisfaction, depressed mood, and anxiety. We also found that depressed mood partially mediated the relationship between natural elements and job satisfaction. We discuss scientific and policy implications of these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0155614
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume11
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2016

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