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Mitsubishi’s solution for stressed office workers in Japan: fake skylight video displays

21 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

If you’re working in a Japanese office, odds are you’re going to be spending a lot of time there, what with the country’s notorious amount of overtime. So even if the lack of cubicles means Japanese offices feel less claustrophobic than their overseas counterparts at the start of your shift, after enough hours at your desk your workplace’s walls can start to feel like they’re closing in on you.

But Mitsubishi Electric has an idea on how to alleviate that unique kind of stress: add a fake skylight.

The Misola system is a display panel that creates the illusion of a skylight or window, with a view of a simulated blue sky. It’s not entirely decorative though, but functional too. The outer edges of the “window” (actually the frame for the display) emit light, and so Misola is meant to be used to supplement, or even replace, a regular interior lighting system.

An especially clever design point is that only three sides of the frame light up, while the fourth acts as a visual shadow. By adjusting the amount of light produced by the other three sides, the system can create the sensation of the angle of light shifting as the sun moves across the sky, as well as replicate the differing color an intensity of morning, afternoon, and early evening sunlight. These changes can either be activated manually by the system’s user or programmed to occur automatically on a timed schedule.

Of course, you could argue that what stressed office workers really want is to be allowed to go home before it’s dark outside, not be patronized with a simulated sky to keep toiling away under. However, Mitsubishi also wants to install Misola panels in hospitals and assisted living facilities, such as senior citizens’ homes. For those people who have health or mobility issues that prevent them from going outdoors frequently or for long periods of time, this could be a way to help them ward off the depression and anxiety that can come from being cooped up inside for much, or all, of the day.

Mitsubishi is still putting the finishing touches on the system, but expects to have Misola ready to go on sale this October.

Source: Mitsubishi via IT Media

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© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

21 Comments
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Japanese companies sure seem to be spending so much money and trying so many different ways to reduce employee stress other than reduce work hours and/or increase wages.

23 ( +24 / -1 )

How about letting the paid slaves take two weeks off for a summer holiday and not forcing unpaid overtime on them. That might reduce some of their stress.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Next fake family photos on desks. Anything except paying a decent wage, letting workers go home, have a holiday......fake holiday photos, I'd love to have a photo of myself in a place I've never been to.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Just what Japan needs - more fake solutions to issues.

As someone mentioned above, start by addressing the fundamental issues. In this case reasonable working hours which will make sure employees see more natural daylight.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Flex-time scheduling, no overtime, tele-working, and less meetings. There you go - solved it for you.

Mitsubishi can take their skylight back to their little troll scientists and keep over-paying them for nothing.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

That’s not a solution.

that’s avoiding the problem

9 ( +12 / -3 )

That’s not a solution.

that’s avoiding the problem

In true Japanese style

9 ( +10 / -1 )

It is a nice idea and would help make places like hospitals a little less unbearable. However, presenting it as a solution for worker stress is just marketing rubbish.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

They should make a porthole shaped one for the cheap inside rooms on cruise liners.

Or a one with grey sky LEDs for sale in the UK.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What a joke. Typical Japanese, don’t confront the problem and work out a practical solution, just try to distract people from it with useless rubbish

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Okay, so we have giant windows at every floor in the office, but every single one of them is blinded. I ask if I can open the blinds, atleast for the windows near me. Management said that "no, some people get distracted by sunlight coming in" ... yeah !?!? Well, I guess that's why you bought all these "natural" neon lights instead huh ?!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Nonsense. Does anyone know what sunlight produces for our health? We need vitamin D.

Very clever and innovative solution, good job Mitsubishi.

Absolutely not. Ask them to design workspaces with real sunlight instead.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Hope they know they aren't fooling anyone...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Do these fake skies turn dark in the evening or do these displays fake daylight and thus suggest never ending work days?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Instead of fakery, how about Friday afternoons off?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This solution pales in comparison to actual improvements to working life, as many commenters have suggested already.

However, don't underestimate the efficacy of solutions like this, which do seem awfully silly at first glance. For example, JR (and a few other) train lines have installed blue LED lights at the ends of train platforms, which are designed to reduce suicide rates. And according to a study, stations with the blue lights have an 84% (!) reduction of such incidents (https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/how-blue-lights-on-train-platforms-combat-tokyos-suicide-epidemic). People are much more sensitive to environmental factors than we think (light, sound, color, etc.), and they can affect everything from mood to productivity, blood pressure, and spending habits.

So, do we need better working conditions for all? Absolutely. But if this fake skylight can make people happier and more productive, then why not?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

looks like it will add more seishinteki stress knowing its fake.

it would be better to add the money spent on that to employees salaries.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

crickey:

Next fake family photos on desks.

They already have that. They come with the picture frames in many stores. Mine had a man, lady, boy, and a golden retriever. I actually left it in as a joke.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese companies sure seem to be spending so much money and trying so many different ways to reduce employee stress other than reduce work hours and/or increase wages.

Wow! A lot of whiners! It's not Mitsubishi's responsibility to solve work-life balance issues for other companies. But what they ARE doing is providing a product to help other people. Don't want it? Don't buy it!

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Of course, you could argue that what stressed office workers really want is to be allowed to go home before it’s dark outside, not be patronized with a simulated sky

Pray tell they never have a REAL window to be patronised by! What a lame attempt to inject some moral highground. Try again.

This is far better than current lighting systems emitting constant white light. Well done Mitsubishi.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Very clever and innovative solution, good job Mitsubishi.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

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