Anyone who has ever worked in a dingy office will confirm how it makes them feel, and we all know to what extent natural daylight boosts our mood.
A new study by LUX365 has confirmed what we may already have been able to deduce – that better office lighting, which mimics natural light, improves people’s mood and therefore boosts work productivity.
UK productivity levels
UK workplace productivity has been steadily falling for the last seven years. However, with each winter, especially this one, it’s set to fall again.
This can be partly attributed to daylight saving hours, which occur when the clocks are put back in late October and mean that whilst it’s lighter earlier on, it tends to be dark for the last couple of hours in the office.
This means that offices and factories up and down the UK move to relying on artificial light to illuminate workspaces.
Why we need light
Whilst we know it’s the 21st century, our subconscious doesn’t, and it uses natural light to help regulate our mood, feelings and energy.
Working in dimly lit rooms can upset our internal rhythms and cause low mood and low productivity. Furthermore, whilst bright light can help us feel less tense and livelier, blue lighting can affect our hormones and induce stress.
In the UK, over 16 days are lost, per worker, per year on average, due to workplace induced stress, illness or injury.
With 1 in 5 people in UK suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), we can deduce that some of these missed hours of work may be attributable to low moods caused by lack of sunlight.
LED lights can replicate natural lighting much better, and it’s advised that offices should seek out LED lighting to replace the use of artificial lighting such as strip lights, in order to illuminate workplaces during the dark parts of the winter day.
Even better are custom built and self-operated LED lighting systems, especially in open plan offices. As you can see, it’s important for employers to consider the lighting used in workplaces, both for the health and wellbeing of staff, but also for the effect this has on their productivity.
When lighting is needed to replace daylight, then LED, over other sources of artificial lighting, is advised.
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