How to improve lighting in the workplace

When designing your workplace, lighting is an important consideration that needs just as much attention as the furniture and finishes you select. Lighting has a significant impact on productivity, with statistics showing that proper lighting can decrease errors by 30-60 percent and increase productivity by 10-50 percent. Proper lighting is also important to the health and happiness of employees, helping to reduce eyestrain, headaches, and fatigue, and making for an overall cheerier work environment[i].

Workplaces benefit most from access to daylight. A study by Northwestern University showed that office workers with more natural light exposure at the office had longer sleep duration, better sleep quality, more physical activity, and better quality of life compared to office workers with less natural light exposure in the workplace[ii]. There are many ways to increase employees’ exposure to natural light:

  • Arrange workstations around the perimeter of the office, within 20-25 feet of windows to receive the benefits[iii]
  • Use glass doors on private offices so walls won’t obstruct the light
  • Choose workstations with low panels to keep the space open and accessible to daylight views

Contrary to what many believe, more lighting is not always better. In fact, most spaces are over-lit, contributing to emotional and physical discomfort due to improper illumination of the work surface and glare on reflective surfaces (such as the computer monitor)[iv]. By layering daylight and artificial light, the two can work together to improve how people feel in the environment. When it comes to artificial light, studies show that a combination of low ambient lighting and task lighting is better than bright ambient lighting alone.

By placing energy efficient task lights at every workstation like the Haworth lights below, individual users are given control and flexibility within their workspace to create lighting that’s most comfortable to them. Overhead lighting levels can be reduced, which is good for employees and good for companies, helping to reduce energy consumption and offering a savings in energy costs.

Upgrading lighting in an existing workplace is a cost effective way to improve the overall mood and health of employees – benefiting everyone in the organization – and also helps to reduce energy use and save the company money. From task lighting and glass walls to a full office redesign to improve health and wellness, we would love the opportunity to analyze the lighting in your space and offer solutions for a well-lit space that keeps employees happy and productive!



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