From incentive programs to team building events, there are many ways to boost employee productivity in the workplace. One of the most important ways to increase employee performance, however, is improving the office space to be functional for work. An often overlooked aspect in improving office spaces is lighting. Lighting is fundamentally important for work. After all, employees can’t work in the dark. Here’s how you can enhance office lighting to make it ideal for work and productivity.
The Importance of Lighting for Employee Performance
Bad lighting in the office can lead to several problems. Poor lighting will put strain on employees’ eyes – this, in turn, can lead to headaches and eye problems. Of course, an office worker with a headache won’t be nearly as productive. To ensure that employees work at their full capacity, it’s important to provide workplace lighting that offers a good balance between vibrancy and comfort.
Just as bad lighting can cause headaches and health problems, good lighting can improve employee motivation and mood. Conversely, bad lighting can have a negative impact on mood and motivation. In fact, the shorter duration of sunlight exposure in winter months is what causes many people to feel bluesy in winter.
Lighting might seem like a simple thing and chances are most office planners don’t put too much thought into it. But thoughtful lighting choices in the office space has a lot of potential to improve employee motivation and productivity. When employees view the office space as a positive environment, employee turnaround will be less.
A lot goes into planning the interior of an office to make it a productive, attractive and comfortable working environment. Don’t jeopardize all other décor efforts with bad lighting choices in the office.
How to Enhance Natural Office Lighting
When thinking about lighting, a lot of people will automatically think about artificial lighting choices. While artificial lighting is also important to enhance office lighting, it’s great to take advantage of natural sunlight.
Why Sunlight is Important?
Sunlight is one of the healthiest kinds of light to have in the office space. Artificial light does play a big role in enhancing office lighting, but where possible, artificial lighting should be planned around the natural sunlight. An office space that relies mainly on artificial lighting, even in the brightest times of day, would feel somber and closed off.
Natural Lighting Tips
It’s not always easy to control windows on the office building, but where possible, choose to rent an office space where there are plenty of windows allowing light in from the outside.
If possible, place desks near windows. For optimal lighting, desks must be placed close enough to windows to get light from outside, but far enough so they won’t receive direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can be too harsh at times. Sunlight reflecting off a piece of white paper can be almost blinding!
If dividers are being used for office cubicles, be sure to make them low enough so they don’t block out too much sunlight. Also, when sectioning off parts of the office building for boardrooms, offices and kitchens – using glass walls instead of real walls or dividers will allow light to flow freely through to office space.
Consider a Lighting Control System
It can be difficult to know how to enhance office lighting to combine natural and artificial light in perfect balance. Natural light levels will always be changing throughout the day. This means standard lighting options are unlikely to provide the best level of lighting at all times of day.
A lighting control system is a great workaround for this problem. Lighting control systems will automatically adjust the brightness of lighting in different areas of the office based on the levels of natural light from outside. When the light coming in from outside is very bright, the lighting control system will only provide a minimal amount of artificial light.
At times when there isn’t much light coming in from outside, such as rainy days or at night time, the lighting control system will automatically adjust to provide more light.
Not only will a lighting control system provide better light and improve employee performance, it will also save electricity. This is because the system will use less energy whenever more natural light is present.
How to Enhance Artificial Office Lighting
As mentioned, installing lighting control system is a good way to improve office lighting. But an office lighting control system isn’t the only way to improve artificial office lighting. Artificial light is far easier to control directly than sunlight, so it should be taken advantage of.
LED vs Fluorescent Office Lighting
Fluorescent lighting is a popular choice in many offices worldwide, but it might not be the best. While fluorescent bulbs are relatively cheap and easy to replace, they’re not as reliable as LED.
Like most other lightbulbs, fluorescent bulbs will age with time. As the bulb ages, it will provide less light. Aging fluorescent bulbs are also prone to flickering and buzzing, which can distract workers.
Apart from being cheap and easily accessible, the only real benefit of fluorescent lights is that they can light up large spaces.
LED bulbs are typically more expensive, but they provide more consistent levels of light and save energy. Despite the higher initial cost of LED bulbs, they will work out cheaper over time. This is because LED lights last much longer.
Using LED also offers the benefit of adjustable light levels. If you’re planning to install a lighting control system, you’ll need to use LED bulbs. Even without a lighting control system, LED’s can offer the option of adjusting light levels manually.
Provide Desk Lamps
Even the best lighting won’t be perfect for every task. Make sure to put a desk lamp on every desk. This is a great way to help individual employees get some more light if they feel the need for it. While there are lighting conditions that are clearly better than others, not everyone will prefer the same lighting. Older employees might struggle to see, which means they often need some extra light.
LED Lighting Panels
LED lighting panels are panels that hang from the ceiling with LED globes fitted into them. This offers a fresh alternative to placing lighting fixtures directly in the walls or ceilings. Lighting panels look modern and often help to reduce glare. Hanging lighting panels above boardroom tables is a great way to add an interesting design element to the office space.
Add Wall Lighting
It’s easy to get carried away thinking about the lighting from above, but lighting in the walls can also help a lot. Consider adding lighting in certain areas of the walls. This could be great for dark hallways, for instance. Wall lighting is also great if you are looking to add decorative lighting elements.
Important Lighting Tips
Lighting can be tricky. Measuring levels of light in a space isn’t as easy as measuring temperature or physical size, which makes lighting more challenging to get right. There are a few things you can do to ensure your office lighting is optimal:
- Use matt surfaces and indirect lighting to prevent glare
- Make sure your color rendering is good. The Color Rendering Index is a system to measure how accurate colors appear in a given source of light. It’s measured on a scale from 1 to 100 and the ideal figure for offices is 80 or more.
- Use light contrasts to avoid a uniform lighting. Lighting decorations and contrast in décor colors can help make for a more visually interesting and motivating space.
- Don’t cut corners on costing. Good lighting costs a lot upfront, but it will pay for itself over time in improved efficiency and lower electricity bills.
Lighting costs generally account for 30%-50% of office energy bills, so a proper lighting system that saves power can undoubtedly save money. LED globes have a longer life expectancy, so maintenance costs for lighting will be higher, but less frequent.
Hiring an Electrician to Enhance Your Office Lighting
Many office lighting changes will require a licensed, qualified electrician to install. When choosing an electrician for your office lighting renovation, be sure to choose a company with experience. Have a look at reviews online and get recommendations.
For lighting projects in the Miami area, Miami Electric Wizards can help. As an experienced and trusted electrician operating in the Miami-dade area, we offer quality services you can rely on