It might not be at the top of your list when you think about your work environment, but the lighting in your office can have a huge impact on your workforce and other aspects of the working day. The best lighting for office environments will depend on several factors, from your office location and the type of work you’re doing, to the preferences of your employees and the practicality of different lighting.
In this guide, we’ll uncover why lighting is important and how you can choose the best office lighting for your business.
Why is lighting important in the office?
If you think about it, lighting is important in any location and job role, but it’s especially important for offices to get it right. The level and type of light can have a direct impact on the efficiency of employees, their productivity and energy levels and even their mood, so you must pay attention to the lighting in your office. In fact, a study by Staples concluded that a third of workers would be happier at work if they had better lighting in the office.
Lighting also impacts every area of the office, so you need to understand the types of activities that take place in each location so you can optimise the light levels for the use of the space. For example, kitchen areas should be well-lit and bright, while relaxation zones could benefit from dimmer office mood lighting.
Choosing the best office space lighting
In order to choose the best lighting for your office, you need to think about what you want to achieve. Whether you’re looking to improve productivity, foster creativity or create a relaxing environment, there is a style of lighting to suit.
Lighting for productivity
Improving or maintaining productivity is likely a key area of focus for your business, and lighting can help with this. If your employees are working in an office with no natural light, it’s unlikely they will feel productive or motivated to work hard and achieve the best results.
According to a study by Future Workplace, natural light and views of the outdoors are among the most sought-after workplace perks. Additionally, it found that employees sitting closer to windows have increased productivity throughout the day when compared to those sitting under artificial light.
The best lighting for office space productivity is natural light and you should try to ensure there is as much natural light streaming through the office as possible. At Easy Offices, our coworking spaces and private offices have been designed to improve productivity with bright, natural lighting. For example, our Park House office space in London benefits from a double-height curved glass roof, delivering an abundance of natural light throughout the day.
If natural lighting is impossible due to the nature of your building, try incorporating artificial lights that are as close to natural light as possible. Overly bright lights can reduce productivity, so try and steer clear of anything fluorescent.
Lighting for mood
Lighting can have a huge impact on a person’s mood, so it’s important to ensure you install lighting that keeps mood levels on the positive end of the scale. For example, if you go outside when the sun is shining and it’s bright outside, you’re more likely to feel positive and have an energy boost. If it’s dull and gloomy out, this can affect your mood in the same way and make you feel tired or glum.
You should consider the lighting in your office rental in relation to how natural lighting makes you feel, and try to replicate this. Dim or artificial lighting in office space environments can cause a person to feel tired or drowsy due to the strain it places on the eyes, especially if that person is working on a computer for a long period.
A Harvard Business Review study found that 47% of employees admit they feel very tired from the absence of natural light or a window in their office, and 43% report feeling gloomy because of the lack of light.
If you’re able to make significant changes to the lighting in your office space, it’s worth considering office mood lighting. While LED lighting is artificial, it can be easily manipulated to change colours and reflect a feeling or desired mood. For example, if you’re in a clinical setting that requires focus on a small object, you might like to change the setting to a brighter ice white colour. If you’re aiming to create a relaxing mood or cosy atmosphere, warm low-level lighting with a hint of yellow or orange can help.
Lighting for health
Lighting has an obvious impact on productivity and mood, but it can also affect a person’s health in several different ways. At a superficial level, good lighting can help a person to see where they are going and what they are doing, reducing workplace incidents and injuries. But lighting can also affect a person’s mental wellbeing and ability to process information accurately.
We receive about 85% of our information through our sense of sight, so we must ensure lighting supports information gathering. Inappropriate lighting that creates a glare or shadow on computer screens has been known to cause eye fatigue and frequent headaches, resulting in difficulty concentrating or processing information. Additionally, this can reduce mood levels and productivity, as well as cause time away from work.
As with productivity and mood, natural light is the best office space lighting for looking after a person’s health. By providing natural light in the office, your employees can absorb vitamin D which comes with several health benefits. Also known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, this vitamin is essential for increasing serotonin levels to improve mood and mental wellbeing, reduce depression and even help to fight disease.
Natural light can also have an impact on a person’s sleep pattern. A Northwestern University study found that workers exposed to natural lighting enjoyed better sleep each night, with those with a window view reportedly sleeping 46 minutes longer than those without one.
If you’re seeking a new office space and want to ensure it has the best office lighting for your workforce, browse our locations or speak to our team today and find something to suit your requirements.