As the days begin to shorten, your lighting choices in the office are more important than ever!
There are certain factors that everyone knows affect workplace productivity, but there is one important factor often overlooked by most employers across the globe: lighting. Sure, it’s common knowledge that reading in the dark can harm your eyes, but lighting has effects well beyond that, and an employer’s choice of lighting can have a significant impact on the productivity of their company.
Did you know in a study conducted by the American Society of Interior Design indicated that 68 percent of employees complained about the lighting situation in their offices! The fact that such a substantial number of employees disliked the lighting in their offices enough to complain about it implies that many employers could be making the same mistakes. The two most common scenarios for poor office lighting are lights that are too dim and lights that are too harsh.
The first culprit is dim lighting. Dim lights can be detrimental to productivity for several reasons. It can cause everything from eye strain and headaches (inadequate lighting causes the eyes to work much harder in order to see) all the way to drowsiness and lack of focus, which will obviously have a negative impact on anyone’s motivation. The second culprit, harsh lighting, is much more common than dim lighting and is just as harmful. Florescent lighting especially has a number of negative effects on employees, as it has been known to cause eye strain, and it is also cited as a major trigger for migraine headaches (if you’ve ever had a migraine you know how detrimental they are to productivity). This harsh lighting also makes it more difficult for the eye to focus, so alternatives should be sought whenever possible.
The best alternative to harsh lighting and dim lighting systems is natural light itself. In a study conducted in Britain and published in “The Responsible Workplace,” it was shown that windows were the number one determinant of the occupants’ level of satisfaction with a building. This effect is due to lighting’s ability to affect the human body in two ways: directly, in the form of affecting what and how well we are able to see, and indirectly, in the form of effects on our mood, behavior, and even hormonal balance. Natural lighting renovations have been shown to result in happier workers, less absenteeism, and fewer illnesses, and, because better lighting encourages satisfaction among workers, it also results in increased productivity.
Proper Lighting’s Effect on Productivity
With light being a key component of vision, and vision being responsible for 80 to 85 percent of our perception of the world around us, it’s not difficult to see why ignoring proper lighting strategies in your office could have a significant negative impact on productivity. Harsh lighting and dim lighting are equally detrimental to the productivity of your workers, and, by opting instead for more natural lighting or other lighting systems that have been proven effective, you stand to not only save energy but also increase productivity among your business’s employees.
According to some studies, the impact is substantial, and, although the initial cost of a lighting renovation could seem daunting, the gains due to energy savings and- more importantly- productivity gains more than make up for the cost of the investment. No matter which tactics or tips you choose to utilize in your workplace lighting, any of these options will be a surefire way to enhance the morale, productivity, and overall mood of your workplace.
If you’re looking to update your workspace sustainably, our experts are ready to help you get into the office of your dreams! Call 518.449.2040 or visit us at daviesoffice.com/contact for more information.