How home office lighting affects productivity

November 4, 2020
How home office lighting affects productivity

So, you’ve made sure your employees have a laptop. Maybe you’re paying their phone bill for them, too. Perhaps you’ve even hooked them up with a comfortable desk and chair. But have you ever considered what their home office lighting rig might be doing – or not doing – for their productivity?

How lighting impacts productivity

The way we light up our working space is important. If there is not enough light, or if there is too much artificial light, then our ability to work is affected. For example, we may experience:

  • Eye strain
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of focus

Not only are these uncomfortable to deal with and bad for our health, but they impact our ability to do a great job. And when we are working alone, away from our colleagues, for extended periods of time, we really do want the most comfortable and efficient working environment possible.

The benefits of natural lighting

There are plenty of benefits to exposing yourself to more natural light. For example, through boosted absorption of vitamin D. But lighting also affects things such as our hormones – and therefore our moods.

Exposure to sunlight and other sources of natural light is also a good defence against things like Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is a serious depressive illness that normally kicks in during the run up to winter, and which around 6% of people are thought to suffer from.

Changing your lighting setup can have a huge impact. When a U.S. postal office in Nevada renovated their own lighting system to expose employees to more natural light sources, they saved $50,000 per year in energy costs, and their workforce became the most productive mail sorters in the Western half of the United States. Revenue also increased, and error rates dropped for machine operators.

Encourage employees to increase their exposure to natural light

You might not be able to ask employees to renovate their home office lighting system. But if you can’t do it for them, then at least encourage employees to:

  • Sit near windows to reduce reliance on artificial lighting
  • Make sure dimmable light switches aren’t too dull or bright
  • Consider investing in a daylight desk lamp
  • Take regular breaks and go for a walk outside the house

With issues such as the global coronavirus pandemic forcing more workers to work from home, while battering the state of people’s mental health and wellbeing, anything you can do to make an employee more comfortable at home is a good thing.

More tips on helping your home workers succeed

People HR started life as a small group of home workers sat around a kitchen table. So we ave a fair bit of experience making the most of less-than-ideal home working scenarios.

If you’d like more tips on working from home more effectively, you might like to read the following articles: 

If you have tips on better home office lighting, or other ways to work from home better, please leave them in the comments section below.

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