Many business owners underestimate the importance of lighting in an office. However, it can significantly impact employee morale and output each working day.
It might also be surprising to learn that the lighting you choose can take its toll on your staff members’ physical and mental health, as it could potentially lead to migraines, eye strain and depression.
Thankfully, you can utilise natural lighting, shutters and different forms of artificial lights to make your team feel more relaxed, motivated or alert.
If you want to speed up internal processes while keeping your team happy and healthy, you will find out below how lighting can impact your employees’ mood and productivity at work.
How Can I Manipulate Lighting to Improve Morale?
It is essential to consider the atmosphere you want to achieve in each room before choosing the best lighting options to incorporate.
For example, if you want to create a relaxed, restful vibe in a break area or dining room during a lunch break, opt for low levels of lighting to create a feeling of intimacy and comfort. To do so, you could layer lighting across the room using pendant lighting, wall lights and floor lamps.
However, if you want to make your employees feel both alert and productive, aim to welcome as much natural lighting into a room as possible. You also can play with lighting by installing high-quality shutters into your office, kitchen or conference room. You can find out more online from the experts at Shuttercraft about the best shutter styles to complement your business.
How Does Natural Lighting Affect Employee Health?
Natural lighting cannot only improve productivity and morale, but it can also positively impact your employees’ physical and mental health. By welcoming more natural sunlight into an office, your team can absorb essential vitamin D, which can increase their serotonin levels. If, however, an employee doesn’t experience much natural lighting, they are more likely to experience depression.
A Northwestern University study also found that workers exposed to natural lighting enjoyed better sleep each night, as those with a window view reportedly slept 46 minutes longer than professionals without one. It can, therefore, ensure your staff members are well-rested and can improve their brain power the next working day.
So, aim to increase your team members’ exposure to natural sunlight each day to support their mental wellbeing.
Should You Use High Intensity or Dim Lighting?
Many offices use one of two forms of artificial lighting: dim lighting and high-intensity lighting, which should counteract the effect of a harsh, bright computer screen. However, dim lighting could potentially slow down productivity in the workplace, as it can reportedly cause an employee to experience unnecessary eye complications.
For instance, dim lighting in an office can lead to your workers experiencing eye strain and headaches. What’s more, it could result in both drowsiness and physical weakness. Consequently, your members of staff will not have the energy or motivation to complete tasks to a high standard and will long for the end of the working day.
It is, however, important to note that high-intensity lighting can also play havoc with your employees’ productivity, health and mood. Due to the vibrancy of high-intensity artificial lights, which can range from halogen to fluorescent lighting, it is possible for some staff members to experience headaches in the workplace.
In fact, research has found that high-intensity lighting can lead to the development of migraine headaches in office workers, which could result in workplace inactivity or absences. This type of lighting could also potentially damage a person’s eye health, especially if the lighting is suddenly switched on or off.
For this reason, it is beneficial to welcome as much natural sunlight into the workplace as possible. When artificial lighting is required, employers must aim to strike the right balance to protect their employees’ health and increase productivity levels.
It is also worth checking in on your team from time to time regarding their environment. If many employees regularly complain about the workplace lighting, it is essential to take the matter seriously and address the issue as soon as possible, which can prevent your staff from experiencing mid-day motivation slumps and various health issues during their time at your company. Consequently, you might need to change the office lighting you use or invest in new window coverings to emit more natural sunlight.
How Can You Position Furniture in an Office?
As mentioned, employers need to strike the right balance when using artificial lighting. To expose your staff to more natural sunlight and eliminate the glare of dim or high-intensity lights, it might be worthwhile repositioning your office furniture.
Always aim to position an employee’s desk to face away from a form of artificial lighting, which can prevent eye strain and headaches from affecting their mood, health and productivity levels.
For instance, aim to reposition your employees’ desks towards a window, with artificial lighting towards the back of the office if possible. It will help to keep your employees both happy and healthy, which could increase their output and may help the business to develop and maintain exceptional industry standards.
How Does Colour Temperature Affect Productivity?
Most workplaces will require the use of some form of artificial lighting each working day. One factor you might not have considered when choosing your business lighting is colour temperature. According to a study published by the University of North Carolina, the colour temperature of artificial light can affect productivity levels in the workplace.
For example, the research found that cooler forms of artificial lighting led to more productive workers. In fact, even natural light during the morning and evening can reportedly lift a person’s mood, reduce depression systems, boost energy and alertness, and increase productivity.
Business owners must ensure your workers are exposed to more natural sunlight each morning and when working late each evening to help them complete a task or project without fuss or complaint.
It could make a big difference to your employees’ morale and your company’s success. The University of Greenwich embarked on a two-month-long study on the matter and found that blue-enriched light bulbs made staff members feel happier and more alert, and they experienced much less eye strain.
To keep morale high and inject much-needed energy into the business, it might be beneficial to incorporate artificial lighting that features cooler tones, which often range from violet to blue shades.
The study also discovered that the use of blue light could reduce melatonin, which is produced in a person’s glands and supports sleep. By lowering the level of melatonin in the body, it can help to keep your staff alert in a similar way to caffeine. So, they will not need to reach for a hot cup of coffee to boost their energy levels and power through their to-do list. To help your business grow from strength to strength, it could be worthwhile incorporating the energising lighting into brainstorming rooms.
You also could welcome more cooler sunlight into a room by adding more glass into an office space, if possible, which will allow light to flow throughout a workplace. Doing so could ultimately reduce the need for artificial lighting while ensuring your employees benefit from the different shades of natural sunlight throughout the working day.
Should You Avoid Warmer Colour Temperatures?
Warmer colour temperatures will range from red to a yellow/white hue. While they cannot boost your employees’ energy levels, you shouldn’t disregard warmer tones completely, as the lower colour temperature can create a more comfortable, calmer and relaxed atmosphere. For this reason, it might be beneficial to incorporate the lighting in a more intimate workplace setting, such as a meeting room to make clients and associates feel at ease.
Are There Other Ways to Increase Natural Sunlight Exposure?
Thankfully, there are many more great ways to encourage your employees to enjoy the benefits of natural lighting. For example, you should consider the layout of your office to ensure members of your team aren’t hidden away in dark, dull corners of a room.
You also should encourage your staff members to enjoy a walking meeting in the outdoors, so they can absorb a healthy dose of vitamin D while stretching their legs and enjoying a much-needed break from the office.
While the most excellent technologies and software can boost internal efficiency and speed up processes, it is the office environment that can impact both morale and productivity each working day.
You must aim to optimise the atmosphere using natural sunlight and the best forms of artificial lighting. You also might need to identify the best window coverings for your office, reposition your furniture and incorporate cooler tones into a space. As a result, you could successfully keep your employees’ spirits high, boost their motivation and improve their mental and physical wellbeing every single working day.
By doing so, your business can enjoy greater productivity levels, which can lead to satisfied customers, a higher standard of work, and a bigger annual revenue.