Lighting can make a big difference in an office environment. Poor lighting often means poor productivity and has been linked to unhappiness and even depression. Office lighting has come a long way since the days of dusty single light bulbs, dim rooms and crackling fluorescent tubes.
Modern architecture puts a huge emphasis on lighting sources when designing for a work environment, and electricians are trained to installed a huge variety of lights. And while you may not have the money to redesign your office for better lighting, there are a few things you can think about:
- Natural lighting. Work spaces that have access to natural light are generally more productive, although natural lighting alone is not the answer; it must be used in conjunction with another source of light. Natural light should be thought of as a complement to other sources of light. Natural lighting can be installed in your office. Taking into account building size, height, surrounding buildings and sun exposure, the options range from larger windows to the installation of sunroofs.
- Overhead lighting. How many times have you been in an office, at a desk, and you notice the mosquito-buzz of a fluorescent light bulb crackling away above you. The sound doesn’t go away, and you then notice the cold, almost green light it produces and the ever-so-slight strobing effect it has. Then your productivity has gone; you realise how tired you are… Fluorescent light bulbs are useful, but must be good quality and well-maintained. Using fluorescent light bulbs in combination with natural lighting is a good option.
- Floor lamps. If you work in a creative environment, these lamps may assist in boosting productivity. Floor lamps are excellent where high visibility and concentration are needed. Furthermore, using a floor lamp will promote the feeling of a bubble in which you’re working. This “in the zone” sensation can be a huge boost to work ethic and productivity.
- Track lighting. This term refers to any number of independently adjustable lamps all connected by the same circuit. Track lighting is customisable to the space of your office and its lighting needs. For instance, track lighting can focus light on the workstations or a piece of art and not focus on neutral areas. This produces an average light throughout the office, whilst still highlighting certain areas, similar to floor lamps. Track lighting works very well in combination with natural lighting.
- Lighting controls. If your workplace is energy-conscious, you might be interested in investing in installing timers or sensors into your office. This means that lights are only on in areas where people are actively working, and area like conference rooms and lunch rooms will remain dark until somebody enters the rooms.
There are many lighting options for your office, and chances are you could improve your current setup. Talk to your electrical services company about what your options are. Lighting is tied in with the aesthetics of the office as a whole and has been successfully linked to productivity levels. It is as important, if not more so, than wall or carpet colour.