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How Office Lighting and Environment Affect Performance
Productivity is the number one priority for many businesses. There’s nothing worse than venturing into the office in the morning only to witness a sea of yawning faces and twiddling thumbs. A big reason for this lack of productivity could be office lighting.
The lighting that you have in your office can have a dramatic impact on the productivity of your employees. The American Society of Interior Design found that 68 percent of employees are unhappy with the lighting in their offices and that is a pretty big number.
Everyone has been in those workplaces that utilize the old school bright white strip lighting or ultra dim LEDs and it can be a little depressing, to say the least.
This type of lighting can be detrimental to productivity and overall job satisfaction and, with the job market the way that it is, you need to do everything you can to keeep your employees productive and happy.
Lighting in the home is very much a subjective thing. In the workplace, however, lighting is less subjective. There are crucial elements that you need to consider when addressing the brightness of lighting your office.
Computer screens, laptops, and tablets are the hardware of choice in every office. These pieces of technology emit their own light. The ambient light that they create can make your workers drowsy, foster debilitating headaches, and lower mood.
While you might think that the solution is to utilize dimmer lighting, these sorts of lower wattage hues actually can cause their own problems.
Alongside the light emitted from screens, dim lighting can cause eye strain and tiredness. That afternoon lull will become unavoidable if workers are not able to see their computer screens or read smaller text.
If your workforce is highly productive in the morning and then they taper off after lunch, you may want to consider changing the lighting in your office.
Opt for brighter softer lighting that resembles natural daylight if your office lacks windows. It is suggested that you install fluorescent, 6500k bulbs. This is because they are not too intense and are the closest to regular daylight.
If you have a lot of windows in your office, opt to let more natural light in by utilizing sunlight to create a more favorable environment for your staff.
According to a study conducted by Alan Hedge, a professor in the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis at Cornell, people in offices that get a lot of daylight reported an 84 percent drop in symptoms of eyestrain, headaches and blurred vision symptoms, which can detract from productivity.
Consider moving desks closer to the windows or simply opening up the blinds. If your staff tends to work late or you can’t move everyone’s desks towards the windows opt to get them task lighting for their desks or use the bulbs we mentioned above that resemble natural light.
Scrap the bright white and ultra dim light sources, and go for something that complements the natural light and let your staff customize how much or how little light they have at their desks.
Some workers may need a brighter light to work productively. Others who enjoy working later in the evening likely won’t want as much light.
If this is the case, allow them to control this by giving everyone task lamps. This means that a worker who is focusing on a technical drawing or small print text can utilize a more focused light, but their neighbors won’t be affected by that light.
Employees themselves, realize that the lighting in their office has an effect on their work. As an employer, you should want to create the best environment for them, and this can begin with the right office lighting.
As we discussed earlier, when you decide to install new lighting, choose bulbs that best resemble natural light.
You should also opt for more energy-efficient options. This can result in huge savings on energy bills and is overall better for the environment.
As well as the savings and environmental impact you can make, you will create a more ambient, natural and pleasant space for your employees to work in. Instead of the afternoons being written off due to tiredness, the whole day can be deemed as productive.
If you don’t have the number of windows you desire to let in more natural light, you do have a few more things you can do to brighten up your office. These options include:
- Install mirrors: Mirrors will make the space seem bigger and more open; they will also bounce the natural light you do get around the room.
- Paint your walls a light color: This is an old home staging trick, but it works extremely well if you want to make your space seem more open and bright.
- Use Glass bricks: These, like mirrors, will help bounce and reflect the natural light that you do have across the office.
- Add some plants: Adding some greenery to your space can help make it more inviting. If you do not get a lot of light in your office, there are plenty of plants that require very little sunlight to survive.
These small touches can help create a brighter and more vibrant office environment. Your staff will enjoy coming into work every day and will feel more motivated to produce their best work.
When choosing the new lighting for your office, consider your employees first and foremost. They are the backbone of your business and, as an employer, you must consider how your employees work best.
Ready to install new lighting in your office? Click below to learn more about the lighting design and installation services at ProCircuit, Inc. in the Kansas City area!