Shining a Light on Productive Workspaces with Glass

The Harvard Business Review reported on a study conducted by the HR advisory firm Future Workplace, which found that the #1 office perk is natural light.

Of course, with our passion for clear glass railings and glass panels, you don’t have to convince us of the importance of natural light and the difference something as simple as a window can make in someone’s day!

Survey Says…

“The Employee Experience” survey polled 1,614 North American employees. And, as Jeanne C. Meister, who was the managing partner of Future Workplace at the time of the study, said in the Harvard Business Review, “Access to natural light and views of the outdoors was the number one attribute of the workplace environment outranking stalwarts like onsite cafeterias, fitness centers, and premium perks including on-site childcare.

Other findings from the study include:

  • The employee experience is negatively impacted by the absence of natural light and outdoor views. 
  • More than a third of employees say that the amount of natural light in their workspace is not adequate. 
  • Nearly half of the employees surveyed said the absence of natural light or a window in their office makes them feel tired. 
  • More than 40 percent of employees said they feel “gloomy” as a result of the lack of natural light.


Employees apparently know what’s good for them. In the HBR write up, Meister referred to academic research, which has determined that employees who have natural light in their workplace environment had significantly fewer headaches, reported much less eyestrain and were more alert.

Glass railings and glass panels that let natural light reach further into workplaces can also add a chic, contemporary style to any office environment. Interested in learning more? Contact our glass professionals. They love to talk about the benefits and beauty of frameless glass railings and panels!

Why Is Red Glass More Expensive than Clear Glass?

Most types of commercial glass, including the kind of glass used in our frameless shower enclosures and our glass railings, are made of three simple ingredients. 

Making glass, as it has for centuries, starts with sand, which you might see referred to as silicon dioxide. The other essential ingredients are limestone, which is also known as calcium carbonate, and sodium carbonate, which is sometimes referred to as sodium ash. 

The Recipe for Colored Glass

Just as you can add a pinch of garlic or a teaspoon of vanilla extract to your favorite recipe to alter the final results, ingredients can be added to the basic formula for glass to achieve different effects. 

The recipe for producing colored glass usually involves the addition of a metal to the glass,” the experts at explain. This is often accomplished by adding some powdered oxide, sulfide, or other compound of that metal to the glass while it is molten. 

Here are some of the most popular colors used in glassmaking and the metals which are added to create them:

  • Yellow cadmium sulfide 
  • Blue-Violet cobalt oxide
  • Purple manganese dioxide
  • Emerald Green chromic oxide
  • White antimony oxides or tin compounds 
  • Yellow-Amber sulfur
  • Brown iron oxide


So, What About Red?

You can’t make the stained-glass windows that were so important in the history of the church without colored glass. Well, the ancient artists who were first experimenting with colored glass, realized that some of the colors they were using to make windows would fade over time. Red glass, it turned out, was particularly likely to fade. 

Artists in many countries worked to produce a red glass that would hold its color through the years under the direct sunlight that passed through the windows,” reports. Eventually a permanent red color was developed by adding small amounts of gold to the glass.

While the addition of gold enabled artists to create a beautiful shade of red that would remain vivid year after year, it also made red glass a valuable commodity. “Even today,” says, “if you purchase a red sheet of glass it will cost significantly more than any other color.

We have never had a customer request red glass shower panels or red glass railings, so we don’t know how much gold would be needed or how the cost would be affected. If you are interested in clear glass for a shower enclosure or frameless glass balcony railing, however, we would be happy to give you a free estimate.  

3 Reasons Why Glass Is So Special

Glass has fascinated people for thousands of years. Its unusual qualities and variety of uses – from jewelry to glass shower panels – continues to capture our imaginations. 

Believe it or not, there are things about glass that scientists still can’t fully explain. That mystery is just one of the things that make glass so special. Here are a few others:

  1. To create the flat glass sheets used to make everything from windows to glass railings and clear glass shower enclosures, a method known as the float process is used. “In this method, molten glass moves over the lip of a broad spout, passes between rollers, and floats over a bath of molten tin in a steel container,” the folks at Explain That Stuff tell us.
  1. Did you know that glass is stronger than most metals?When tested in a flawless state, glass can withstand a relatively reversible compression yet not fracture,” the experts at Sonoran Glass say. But, of course, who among us is completely flawless? “Its theoretical strength in tension is estimated to be 2 to 5 million pounds per square inch. However, the strength of most commercial glass products ranges from only 2,000 to 25,000 pounds per square inch, owing to the presence of scratches and microscopic flaws.”
  1. Glass is not a solid. “You can make glass by heating ordinary sand (which is mostly made of silicon dioxide) until it melts and turns into a liquid,” the folks at Explain That Stuff tell us. “When molten sand cools, it doesn’t turn back into the gritty yellow stuff you started out with: it undergoes a complete transformation and gains an entirely different inner structure. But it doesn’t matter how much you cool the sand, it never quite sets into a solid.” So what is it? Scientists use the term amorphous solid to describe glass. “It’s like a cross between a solid and a liquid with some of the crystalline order of a solid and some of the molecular randomness of a liquid.”

Of course, another reason glass is so special is because it has the ability to transform a dated bathroom into a stylish, contemporary bathroom. If you would like information about how frameless glass shower enclosures can do that, all you have to do is contact us.