It can be easy to overlook the impact of proper lighting in the workplace.
With many businesses seeking to save money on electricity bills, lighting that is too dim or too harsh may be more cost-effective in theory but detrimental to employee productivity.
Vision is our most important sense for perceiving the world around us, which means that our eyes take in most of the information we need to work effectively. Medical studies have shown that dim lighting strains the eyes and leads to lack of concentration, while overly bright or harsh lighting (like the florescent lights found in many offices) can lead to headaches and irritability. The consequences are more far-reaching than you might imagine; our mood, level of alertness, and sleep cycles are all dependent on signals our bodies receive from the light in our environment.
The solution, of course, is natural daylight. While not every office has the benefit of windows, just 30 minutes spent in bright sunlight per day can double your alertness, regulate your sleep cycle, and boost your immune system. If you’ve noticed you just seem to feel better outdoors on a sunny day, you aren’t alone- our brains produce more of the “happy” chemical seratonin when we spend time outside!
There are also options for upgrading your current lighting in the absence of windows. Bulbs with greater brightness and a more “natural” color range can be used and consider moving from overhead light to smaller fixtures that can be adjusted for each employee’s preference and comfort. The key to more productivity at work is only a light switch away.