How Lighting can Impact Employees
“Natural sunlight does wonders for the workplace”...
Several things can impact office productivity including light. Over time, employees have adapted to environments lit by artificial lighting. Artificial light is great but, being exposed to natural light brings a host of positive benefits including:
- Increased mental health: When the blue skies fade and become gray, the cheerful attitudes that drive workers also leave. Introducing natural light into the workplace, even on a cloudy day, reduces declines in mood and helps keep productivity levels up.
- Improved visual acuity: The human eye functions best when exposed to the full spectrum of natural lighting. Introducing natural light allows employees to read screens, documents, and other items in a more pleasantly lit setting.
- Regular natural light prevents headaches: Who wants to get a headache at work? If your staff suffers from a rash of headaches, a lack of natural light might be the culprit. Opening shades or blinds instead of relying on fluorescent lighting improves the health of the environment.
- Artificial light causes Cancer: According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), exposure to artificial lights increases the potential for breast cancer. This is especially true for night workers where artificial lights may be the only option. These lights fool the body and force it to decrease the production of melatonin, a key contributor to breast cancer.
Artificial lights are a part of the workplace but natural lighting can help employees remain healthy contributors. Several steps that can be taken to bring employees and natural lighting together including:
- Capital improvements such as a skylight or new windows can be added to the facility
- Provide more frequent breaks and encourage employees to go outside instead of spending break periods in offices, cubicles, or breakrooms
- Install full-spectrum light bulbs that simulate natural light
- Add filters to fluorescent lights to lessen the potentially damaging effects
Your employees are your most valuable asset. Building environments that protects them should be your top priority. Introducing natural light into their workday is a cost effective way of protecting them while improving the health and workplace morale.
Shirin, Anil (2017 November 10) Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5454613/