Next to air quality, proper lighting can make a difference in boosting employees’ productivity and well-being in the workplace. This can be achieved through simple ways without necessarily adding more infrastructures.
But is making an effort to improve the office lighting worth it? It turns out, it is. According to Cornell University’s study in 2018, adequate natural office lighting is directly linked to employees’ health and well-being. Common office-related ailments such as blurred vision, headaches, and eye strain are shown to significantly reduce by 84% once controlled daylight is brought into the office.
According to Sleep Health Journal’s 2017 study, with natural lighting in the workspace, workers tend to sleep better at night since daylight is responsible for regulating the body’s natural circadian rhythms, which controls our body’s waking and sleeping schedules.
Having plenty of sleep improves employee alertness, mood, individual performance, health, and wellness. The setup also helps employees feel less drowsy, make fewer mistakes at work, and have a better indoor experience.
Note that mere sunlight isn’t the solution, but it is when controlled. Leveraging and managing the sunlight welcomed into the office is the key. A company might need to add glass walls, reduce glare, or promote privacy while balancing the lighting. If you know how to leverage the distribution of daylight in your office, you can effectively maximize the power of natural lighting.
Design the Office with Daylight in Mind
Outdoor views and natural light remains to be the most sought-after element in the office for most employees. Natural lighting seems to have its own healing power. Here are ways you can achieve that:
Open a window
This is quite obvious but opening a window—floor to ceiling, where direct layers of light don’t cause glare—doesn’t just enhance the lighting but also improves the levels of fresh air that gets inside your office. Remember that lighting comes next to air quality, so opening your window targets the two all at once.
Add mirrors and reflective surfaces
Mirrors can make the office look both larger and brighter as they are natural reflectors of light. Strategically place your mirrors somewhere they can reflect lights with one another. This is the best way to reach even those employees working in a cube.
Introduce natural lights to areas of heavy traffic
Extremely dim or harsh light can cause eyestrain and headache. Natural lighting is the best way to reduce the use of harsh artificial lighting. Some factors may block reflective mirrors, but skylights may not be. This is the best option to reach many cubicles, especially where the light from side windows cannot reach.
Diffuse the lighting
Both windows and skylights can evenly distribute the light throughout the office. However, diffused lighting is your greatest option if sharp shadows, glare, and hot spots prevail. This is done through diffuser screens, frosted glass, angling light beams, and softboxes. Just be careful about using diffuser screens as they may obstruct light.
Paint the walls with bright colors
Brightly painted walls can make a room seem brighter, improving the employees’ mood in the process. Make sure to pick lighter shades such as soft blues, greens, or yellows. Some employees tend to be more productive when surrounded by stimulating colors such as oranges or bright red, while others prefer calming tones such as ocean blues or light greens.
Remove bulky furniture
Nowadays, minimalism is the trend at home or in the office, and it’s not surprising. Keeping items and furniture to the minimum can make the office feel larger and brighter. So instead of bulky and dark items, choose those that are clean, smooth, and light. Going for minimalistic items can improve your office’s creativity and character too.
Bring the plants in
This isn’t necessarily about improving the brightness in the office, but isn’t the goal to make the space more lively? Filling the office with all the greens can significantly increase the feelings of happiness, reduce stress, and enhance your productivity. Some employees even prefer to have miniature plants on their desks just to achieve so. A little green around the office can spike up psychological engagement among employees.
Use correct artificial lighting
You don’t just rely everything on daylight. Not all offices have adequate natural lighting, but this isn’t a big problem. Don’t underestimate the power of effective artificial lighting installation. You may even choose to make it seem natural such as by installing wall-mounted lamps or fixtures. These can effectively improve the aesthetics and overall lighting in the room.
How about you? How do you choose to increase the brightness in your office? Whether artificial or natural, the key to it is adequacy. If it achieves the productivity you aim for your employees, then you’ve done well.