3 Reasons Workplace Lighting Matters More Than You Think

September 28, 2018

By Workspace Resource

Modern workers spend most of their day in the office, but if they’re not focused or productive, they can’t do much for their employers.  Companies that understand what drives productivity will get the most out of their talent and as a result, generate higher revenue. If you want to create a better work environment and improve your employee's productivity, then this office lighting design guide is for you.

Workplace Lighting Matters

If you’ve ever worked in a dimly lit office with fluorescent lights buzzed overhead, then you already know that lighting affects your mood, energy level and productivity. Here’s what workers get with good lighting:

  1. Enhanced Productivity
  2. Improved Mood
  3. Decreases Discomfort

Enhances Productivity

While the initial investment required for a lighting overhaul might give you pause, consider the benefits you’ll see in terms of energy savings and productivity gains. Lighting is critical to alertness and productivity in the office. Understand that different tasks require different levels of light, so computer usage may require less lighting than filing.

Improves Mood

With more than 68% of office employees unhappy with the lighting in their workplace, that signals a less than satisfied workforce. Lighting is considered one of the most important factors in ergonomics, but this part of office design is often overlooked, rushed, or sacrificed in the name of style. In your own office, you may have noticed frustrated employees bringing in their own lamps to find the right blend of functional lighting and home-like ambiance

Decreases Discomfort

While office jobs aren’t known to be particularly dangerous, working at a desk all day can cause aches and pain. Lower back pain, wrist pain, and leg cramps come with the territory of office work, but so do headaches and eye strain. It’s not unusual for businesses to invest in modern, comfortable conference room seating to appeal to visitors, so why then would you not also invest in adequate furnishings and lighting for your employees?

Office Lighting Design Guide

Here are some tips for designing office lighting that will help increase productivity and decrease employee eye strain.

Make The Most Of Natural Light

Natural light is the best light for offices, because it is free and it improves workers' productivity and moods. Try to put workstations near windows and minimize the number of walls that might block the natural light.

Use A Mix Of Light Sources

Office lighting is not just limited to overhead or desk lighting. Indirect lighting can help in subtly illuminating the workspace and relieve eyestrain. Non-reflective background surfaces, like a matte finish or muted color furniture, can positively influence a work environment.

Consider The "Temperature" Of Light

Cooler blue and white lights are ideal for spaces where more concentration is needed. Warm, yellowish-toned lights work well in spaces where people come to relax.

Think About Function

Each room has a different purpose, which will likely mean you will have different lighting needs.

Cafe/Dining Spaces - Use warm and relaxing lighting in every area except where food might be prepared. In areas of food preparation, ensure there are no shadows.

Reception - This space sets the tone for your brand and should make an impact. Downlights are great for accent lighting and reducing glare.

Meeting Rooms - The ideal lighting for a meeting room should be a balance of warm and cool light. This type of lighting creates an atmosphere that is perfect for presentations, discussions, and workshops.

Workspaces - The most efficient way to get light is through daylight harvesting in an open floor plan. Recessed, ceiling-mounted lights evenly light up the workspace, and adding spotlights or downlights avoids any dark spots.

Thoughtful Lighting Goes a Long Way

Smart organizations know that enhancing the performance of their people keeps companies growing and innovating. Thoughtful lighting design can be a powerful tool to increase employee performance. Modern office design emphasizes the role of lighting, with more natural light, built-in task lighting and more.

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