There are a number of reasons you could see a decrease in workplace productivity, but one reason often goes overlooked despite it being used in offices across the globe. While it’s widely known that reading in the dark can harm your eyes, office lighting that is too dim or too harsh is also just as bad for a person and fixing bad office lighting could be your best option to increase workplace productivity. While many might see making a change in lighting as a minimal workplace improvement, the impact is quite substantial.
In a study done by the American Society of Interior Design, nearly 68 percent of employees have filed complaints about their office’s lighting situation. Of the complaints, many workers have said that the lighting in their office makes them feel sluggish, tired, and leaving the workplace in an overall negative mood. Bad lighting doesn’t only have a negative impact on your employees, though. Poor lighting can also translate to a decline in quality, as well as the accuracy of work.
For example, a post office in Reno, Nevada during the 1980’s renovated their entire lighting system after receiving an overwhelming amount of complaints from their employees. After revamping their lighting to a more worker-friendly approach, mail sorters in the facility posted lower error rates than the entire western half of the country. The upgrade also resulted in an energy savings of nearly $50,000 per year and the improvement in productivity also boosted the post office’s revenue by roughly $500,000.
But, how exactly does poor lighting impact your employees and workers? Let’s take a look.
How Lighting Effects Employee Performance
One of the first indicators of bad office lighting is eye strain which often leads to many other issues. Consistent eye strain in the workplace can lead to burning, irritated, and itchy or red eyes, as well as fatigue and increased stress. You may also notice that employees become sensitive to contrast, have a hard time focusing, and may even develop a loss of depth perception. No matter how good someone’s vision is, every worker is susceptible to eye strain, so if you notice your employees are consistently squinting or straining their eyes, neck, or shoulders while looking over their work, it might be time to take a look at your lighting.
Depressive Effects of Bad Lighting
Also among the many effects of bad lighting, the mental health of your employees is also on the list. Gloomy lighting can lead to increased chances of depression. “Inadequate lighting can contribute to the poor response to treatment of an exacerbation of psychiatric conditions, including mood disorders,” says the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Incorrect contrast, poorly distributed light and fluorescent flicker can also lead to potential problems in the workplace, making headaches and migraines another concern for employees making it more vital than ever to get workplace lighting done right.
How Pro Circuit Can Help Make Changes
In most cases, the lighting design in commercial buildings was installed decades before the science behind poor lighting was available to the public, and there’s a good chance that your business property is overdue for a change. Good light comes down to ergonomics and design. A combination of indirect overhead lighting, adjustable task lighting, and, most importantly, natural lighting can help ensure safe and comfortable working conditions. A blend of warm and cool lighting is also another factor that can contribute to the health and safety of your employees and workers.
Through careful inspection and measurement, Pro Circuit can make recommendations to bring good lighting to your office and talk you through any potential upgrades that may need to be made. With Pro Circuit, you can be sure that you are speaking with lighting specialists that can help you devise a good lighting and electrical plan to bring your office back to life.