There are several components that make for a successful office environment, such as furniture, technology as well as design. But what about lighting? Are there proof that office lighting is connected to productivity?
With many office workers dependent on computers, this means that a lot of our work days are spent staring intensely at a screen – which in some unfortunate cases, can cause severe eye strain. However, other factors can impact upon our eyesight including an abundance of sunlight and overhead fluorescent lights.
What are the benefits of a well-lit office?
In addition to making the workplace look inviting, good lighting can:
· Restrict glare
· Limit extreme contrasts
· Enhance performance
· Minimise the risk of eye damage
Due to such visual demands, it’s imperative that the workplace is well-lit for maximum comfort and effectiveness; ensuring that both our health and productivity remains uncompromised.
Yet what constitutes as good lighting? According to The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), the only legal requirement is that it is ‘sufficient and suitable’ (and any other similar wording in health and safety rulings). So long as there is enough illumination that allows workers to see clearly displayed, handwritten or printed documents whilst not being blinded by excessively high levels of light (ie glares), then such levels are deemed safe.
What are the signs of poor quality lighting?
The most common problems experienced as a result of poorly-lit workplaces include:
· Blurry vision
· Burning sensation/dry eyes
· Difficulty viewing a document/screen (too much/too little light)
· Eye discomfort/irritation
· Eye strain
It’s of huge importance that your office is optimally lit as bad lighting not only impacts upon the ocular system, but can also affect your muscles (such as causing shoulder aches and stiff necks) – because in an attempt to improve reading conditions, many will adopt awkward stances and as a result, damage their postures.
What else can contribute to eye strain?
Other factors considered as risks to eye discomfort are as follows:
· Glare from unshaded light fittings
· Low ambience
· Lack of varied colour within a worker’s surroundings
· Staring too close at a screen (or staring for too long)
· Uncorrected vision problems
How can these risks be reduced?
From adjusting overhead lighting to altering to the office layout, try out these suggestions:
· Blinds for windows
· Change the brightness and contrast on your monitor to meet your preferences
· Filters to diffuse overhead lighting
· Position the monitor away from windows and lights
· Use matte finishes on floors, furniture and walls
Office Lighting Is Connected To Productivity
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