Lighting has a significant effect on people’s state of mind and output. Since we spend most of our days
at work, it is important that we have just the right amount and intensity of light to perform at peak levels.
In addition to the known aesthetics benefits of good lighting in the office, it is also of necessity to big offices such as Daily Posts UK in improving general staff health and creativity at work.
Unfortunately, most employers tend to place so much emphasis on other workplace issues such as ergonomics and break time, and give less focus to quality lighting, which can positively or negatively affect employees.
The quality of the artificial lighting in place in the office is one of the key determinants of output level at work. According to scientific studies, the eye makes up 80% of our sensory input at work. Therefore, we simply cannot compromise our vision when considering energy efficiency options.
One research made by the American Society of Interior Design showed that 68% of workers are dissatisfied with the quality of lighting in their offices.
So, how do big and modern offices create the right lighting situation for optimal work efficiency and to encourage workers to think, create and collaborate better?
Poor or harsh lighting in the workplace: The main culprits
The two most workplace lighting problems are lighting systems that are either too harsh or too dim.
Dim lights can harm productivity in a lot of ways. It strains the eyes, which can lead to headaches. It forces the eye to work harder and can also cause drowsiness, loss of focus which ultimately leads to dwindling motivation levels.
Harsh lighting such as the ones provided by standard flourescent bulbs also has negative impacts on amount and quality of output in the workplace. It has been known to cause eye strains and trigger migraine headaches; and as well can defocus the eye.
Having said that, there’s really no one size fits all in proper workplace lighting. Employers, interior designers and lighting companies need to consider the category of work and professionals that will be working in a specific area before deciding the amount and intensity of lighting required for that space.
So, although bright lights are distracting, if it is in the right amount and intensity level, it help to improving productivity.
Also, generally, dim light causes a strain to the eye, but there are a few exceptions. According to the Journal of Environmental Psychology, in certain situations, soft lights can help boost creativity and analytical thinking.
Natural and Energy-Saving Lighting as a Superior Alternative
The best alternative to dim and harsh lightings systems in the workplace is natural lighting itself. According to the result of a workplace research published in ‘The Responsible Workplace,’ natural lighting from the window boosts people’s satisfaction level with a building.
While letting in natural lighting is not always practicable, particularly in a big and modern office environment, the closest to natural lighting is energy efficient and LED lighting which can save your company up to 75% in energy usage. They can also replace most fixtures, and, in terms of real costs, can save up to $200 per bulb over time.
Natural lighting, or its artificial substitute such as LED lighting, have been proven to shoot up positive moods, performance and creativity levels in the workplace, with less absenteeism, fewer illnesses, and certainly happier workers.