creating a healthy and productive workplace - the importance of the right lighting

Since most people spend much of their daytime hours at work, it makes sense that quality lighting in the workplace is important. Aside from the obvious aesthetic advantages of good office lighting, it is also a necessity for employees’ health and better work performance.

Office work can be visually demanding, particularly when it involves viewing a computer screen for an extended period of time. Lighting is one of the most important features of an office as it can have a major impact on productivity and employee wellbeing. Ironically, lighting is often the one thing that employers consistently overlook.

the impact of bad lighting

Bad lighting can cause several problems, such as headaches, migraines and eye strain.

Health issues caused by inadequate lighting are not restricted to the eye. It can also contribute to spinal complaints and other musculoskeletal injuries which occur when people adopt awkward postures while straining to read something under poor lighting conditions.

However, poor lighting doesn’t necessarily mean there is insufficient light. In fact, sometimes there is too much light and the glare can impair the worker’s vision or distract them from their work. Incorrect contrast, poorly distributed light and flicker are also potential problems to avoid in the workplace.

natural light has a positive effect

On the other hand, light can have positive biological and therapeutic effects. The importance of natural light cannot be underestimated and can influence the efficiency of staff. Studies have found that natural light increases alertness and gives a boost to attention spans as well as reducing stress levels.

It is important to utilise at much natural light in the office as possible to increase productivity. You can boost the sense of naturalness, and light, in a space by bringing in elements such as plants and glass desks, and even glass floor-tiles. Where possible, desks should be positioned to make the best use of natural light, particularly near a window where possible. This ensures employees can take advantage of natural daylight to prevent eye strain and the glare of too much artificial lighting.

lighting considerations in your office design

Lighting needs to be an essential part of any office design and should be part of an integrated approach. This means using light in conjunction with an entire office layout, including furniture and different parts such as workstations, meeting rooms and breakout areas.

While good and healthy lighting is essential, that doesn’t mean that austere solutions are the best way forward. As part of the movement toward stylish, liveable workspaces continues, office refurbishments usually see lighting moving from the traditional overhead fluorescent strips to something more sophisticated and aesthetically pleasing.

Tips to promote healthy lighting in your office:

  • Overhead lighting should be adjusted to prevent glare on computer monitors
  • Dim the lighting to an adequate level so that you are not over illuminating the workplace but at the same time not making the room too dark
  • Ensure all screens are facing away from windows
  • Adjustable blinds enable employees to adjust the lighting conditions
  • Matte finishes can be used on walls, floors and furniture to prevent glare
  • LED lighting is energy efficient, doesn’t give off harmful UV rays and does not generate heat. This makes it ideal for situations where lights need to be fitted close to where people are working.

how Most Interiors can help

If you are looking for ideas to improve your office lighting or want to consider your lighting as part of an office refurbishment, we can help. From sleek pendant fixtures to quirky table lamps or full office lighting systems we can provide a design and installation solution.

If you are interested in any of our suggestions we would be happy to hear from you to give you more information, so please feel free to contact us.  

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