One of the more overlooked aspects of helping employees stay productive is the environment they’re made to work in. For example, one study found that people hate being in cubicle farms, associating these workplaces with low morale and poor productivity.
Many people describe cubicle farms as dim, having flickering lights, and having little to no access to natural sunlight. In other words, light matters in the office. It seems like such a small detail, but how you light your office can have a huge impact on your workers’ morale and mood.
Below are a few tricks to ensure your office spaces in [city] have picture perfect lighting.
1. Provide Individual Task Lights
The reason cubicle farms are described as being dim is because the entire floor is lit only by arrays of overhead lighting, usually fluorescent tubes that flicker and hum as they get older. You can help workers see what they’re doing by providing all of their workstations with a desk lamp or any light fixture (e.g. a pendant light) that can provide task lighting. This will make it easier to read documents or do computer work.
2. Avoid Having Just One Light Source
Layering is important when it comes to office lighting. You should have all the basic lighting layers: ambient or general lighting, accent lighting, and task lighting. These layers not only help illuminate the office properly, they also prevent the area from looking flat and boring. Lighting contrast also helps break the office into different sections—useful if you have don’t have walls or dividers to break the floor into distinct areas.
3. Don’t Forget the Ceilings and Walls
Most light fixtures focus their beam angle downwards, but you shouldn’t neglect your ceilings and walls when it comes to lighting. Illuminating these areas will help create the illusion of space, making your office look larger and have a higher ceiling. This lighting technique also adds another layer of light that makes the room appear more put-together.
4. Switch to an Intelligent Light System
With smart lighting, you can now control your lights with an app on your phone or with a main panel board, allowing you to adjust the brightness of your office lights, create schedules to automate when they switch on and off, and even change colors depending on your intended application (for example, bright white lighting in the main floor and warm white lighting in lounge areas).
5. Make the Most of Natural Light
Studies show that nothing beats natural light when it comes to perking people up. Sunlight keeps the brain alert and elevates your mood, making you feel lighter and happier. Taking advantage of as much natural light during the daytime also allows you to save energy that would have been diverted to artificial lighting.
6. Be Mindful of the CRI of Your Lighting
The color rendering index (CRI) is the measure of how accurately a light source displays the true color of an object it illuminates. In other words, it’s how well a light source makes red objects appear red, blue objects appear blue, and so on. This might seem like a trivial thing but it does have a noticeable effect in the workplace. High-CRI lighting makes reading easier and prevents your office spaces from appearing washed out.
So, the next time you think about how to make your office more conducive to productivity, keep these lighting tips in mind.