How Office Lighting Affects Productivity

March 25, 2016
Office Lighting

In a recent article called “10 Ways to Create the Perfect Place of Work”, we mentioned the importance of natural light.

Lighting affects productivity in a bigger way than simply enabling or disabling your employees from seeing what they are doing. In fact, there is a lot of evidence that suggests the type of lighting you provide your employees has a massive effect on how productive they are!

Today, we’re discussing how the different types of lighting have different effects on your people, with a particular focus on looking at how access to natural light can boost office productivity.

The Effect of Dim Artificial Lighting

Prolonged exposure to dim artificial lighting can cause your employees numerous physical issues that drain productivity. For example:

– Strained Eyes

– Headaches

– Drowsiness

– Lack of Focus

None of these symptoms are very enjoyable, and therefore you could reasonably expect them to have a negative impact on both physical ability to work, and motivation overall.

The Effect of Harsh Artificial Lighting

Harsh artificial lighting is more common in the office than dim artificial lighting, but it can be just as harmful. It is thought that florescent lighting is even more harmful than regular harsh artificial lighting, so if you are forced to choose between the two, avoid the florescent.

The harmful effects are similar to dim artificial lighting – eye strain, migraine headaches and lack of eye focus to name a few.

The Effect of Natural Lighting

So what about natural lighting? Is it a better choice than artificial lighting?

Most studies say “yes”, with many of them even suggesting that windows are the highest-ranking factor in terms of an occupant’s level of satisfaction within a building!

It is widely thought that lighting can affect a person’s mood, behaviour and even hormonal balance. Within companies where the working locations have been renovated to include more natural lighting, reports have come back suggesting results that include happier workers, less absenteeism, less illness, better job satisfaction, and increased productivity.

U.S. Post Office Case Study

Some studies say that the impact of natural lighting on office productivity is huge, and that the results far outweigh the costs of renovating a workspace to take advantage of it. For example, in the 1980s, a U.S. post office in Nevada had their lighting system renovated in an effort to make their working environment more worker-friendly. As well as a handsome saving on energy bills of about $50,000 per year, the post office reported the following results:

– Mail sorters in the facility became the most productive mail sorters in the entire Western half of the country!

– Machine operators boasted the lowest error rates!

– Revenue gained an expected boost of half a million per year!

It seems that lighting has more than just ‘an impact’ on office productivity – if the studies are to be believed, it seems it has a significant impact.

What is your office lighting hook-up like?


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