Brighten Things Up With Better Office Lighting
Light is an important factor in workplace productivity, but many offices often make one of two mistakes with their lighting: either insufficient amounts, or picking the wrong kind.
Improving Lighting In Your Workplace
Not enough light can cause several different issues. Workers get sleepy and moods are impacted from working in a darkened environment. Needless to say, this effect is not so great for productivity. Dim lights are also bad for eye health, since the darkness causes eye strain. The second problem is that some lights —like fluorescent lights—can be too harsh, meaning they're not a good choice, either. Headaches and eye strain are common side effects of working under flourescent lighting. Of course, all of these problems can lower productivity and morale. What are some alternatives to these all-too-common problems? Consider the following options:
Switch from Fluorescent to LED
LED lighting is becoming more advanced and is said to more closely mirror natural sunlight. Not only does it offer a better working environment for your employees but let's not forget the "bottom-line" aspect. LED lights last longer (up to 20-25 times longer) and use less energy, and although the price tag might raise an eyebrow, over time the energy and maintenance savings outweigh the initial costs which is why more facility managers and offices are embracing it as the better option.
Nowadays, some offices are turning to task lights to make up for the inefficiency of overhead lights. They provides better lighting where workers need it, and they also give workers control over their immediate environment, which can lead to better satisfaction among workers overall. For offices that are concerned about being green, another bonus of task lights is that they conserve energy. Not only will they help with the problems caused by bad lighting, they’ll be gentle on the environment, too.
Another option that will let workers control their working conditions while also adding a pop of color is lamps that break away from the monochrome of the usual office. Breaking up the monotony of the office will make a worker’s space more interesting, which will itself make the worker more engaged with the environment. If you’d like to create a more cohesive look in the office, you can install lamps that carry the company colors. Doing this will be an inexpensive way to brand your office, while addressing lighting issues at the same time.
Incorporating more natural lighting into the office is one of the best ways to solve problems caused by artificial lights. Natural light has been shown to have immense effects on workers’ productivity and happiness. Business efficiency consultant Andrew Jensen provides the following example: In the 1980s a post office in Reno, Nevada saw an increase in productivity, a decrease in mistakes made by machine operators, and a projected increase in revenue of half a million dollars. What happened? The office had introduced more natural light into its workspace.
Options for including natural light in the workplace include floor-to-ceiling windows and building atrium areas. This may sound expensive on the front end, but considering the energy costs of using artificial light and the problems they cause workers, the costs actually aren’t as bad as you would think.
Light can play a big role in your office’s productivity and happiness. Decision makers in the workplace have many options for configuring your office lighting to the right layout for your company. Try adopting some of the changes suggested above, and see if they make a difference in your office.