When you’re trying to do the best and most efficient work, you’ll probably plan on getting an extra cup of coffee, tuning in to some “get focused” music, or giving yourself a zing from some essential oil aromatherapy.
You’re using your senses to get yourself in optimal condition for digging into your work. However, there might be one sense you’re forgetting about and taking for granted: your vision.
Workplace lighting can have a big impact on your mood, productivity and well-being.
And, it’s a difficult balance, making sure your workplace has the perfect, productivity-enhancing level of lighting. Too dim and you’ll strain your eyes. Too bright and intense, and it’ll be impossible to focus.
We’ve put together some guidance on creating a great workplace atmosphere, using the lighting as one technique for improving the overall feel of the space.
1. Dim Lighting Can Make Your Employees Less Intelligent.
Some companies like the cool and chilled-out vibe of a dimly lit office. However, while turning down the lights may look like you’re putting your employees in a blissful, nirvana-esque state, it’s more than likely draining their wellbeing.
Dim lights strain the eyes and make it harder for workers to focus. These issues can be especially impactful if you have team members working in a dimly lit space, then also staring at bright computer screens all day.
The contrast can cause headaches and make it harder for employees to focus or feel comfortable. And, some research has actually shown that working in dim lights can actually impact your ability to absorb and retain information, something that’s definitely not desirable in a busy business setting.
2. Bright Lighting Can Increase Health Issues.
Upon hearing that dim lighting has so many negatives, you may be tempted to go out and order the brightest bulbs you can find.
Extra-bright lighting can be just as frustrating as lights that aren’t bright enough.
Fluorescent lights may be inexpensive, but they can also lead to a variety of health and wellness issues. Migraine headaches are one of the best-known side effects of fluorescent lighting, and these lighting choices can also have a negative impact on your emotions and immune system.
3. Letting Employees Control Lighting Can Help Them Produce Better Results.
If you’re able, giving employees the chance to adjust their own lighting is the most optimal way to manage light and brightness issues.
If you have blinds or screens on office windows, employees can adjust them to suit their own height, eye level and other preferences. If multiple employees are sharing a space, consider allowing them to use additional lights or light shields to adjust their workspace lighting to a level they’re most comfortable with.
Giving employees control over this small area of their workplace health and wellness might seem like a negligible change. However, since almost 70 percent of employees complain about their office lighting, offering this bit of freedom can be a serious morale booster.
4. Use Natural Lighting Where Available.
Natural lighting’s not just meant for photographer sessions and Instagram shots. Instead, maximizing natural lighting in the workplace can make your employees better, healthier and more productive.
Natural light is optimal for seeing and focusing. It also benefits the body by helping to keep hormones in balance.
Workspaces with natural light, like the spaces at 1091 Main Street, tend to feel more open, joyous and collaborative – traits we could all use more of in our business worlds. The new office spaces at 1091 Main Street are open, spacious and window-filled; and, in addition, the winter garden gives on-location workers and guests alike a way to soak in some rare and precious sun and light even when the weather is less than temperate.
4. Lighting Plays a Key Role in Retail Spaces As Well.
Customers are both consciously and unconsciously impacted by the lighting and environment of the spaces they visit. For example, in restaurants where the lights are dimmer, customers are more likely to make unhealthy choices, picking higher-calorie, lower-nutrition options from the menu.
The same goes for in-store shopping: Stores with inviting lighting displays will have a better chance of winning customer loyalty.
Dressing rooms are an area where lighting can have a big impact – in dreary lighting, a customer may not feel like they look their best in a potential outfit. However, if the lighting and angles are good, they are more likely to have a positive experience, increase their confidence and come back to shop again regularly.
To sum it up, lighting matters; natural is best; and being mindful of lighting choices can improve the mood and wellbeing of your team and your customers. If you’re looking for light-filled workspaces that will help you make the most of your days, check out 1091 Main Street and our other Ellicott Development properties.