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Why You Should Never Take Good Lighting in the Workplace for Granted

by Amanda Dawson July 17, 2015

Why You Should Never Take Good Lighting in the Workplace for Granted

Running a workplace is a complex process. Aside from managing people, owners and manager should also think about juggling resources and utilities. While some things can be compromised during critical decision making, one of the factors that should not be is lighting.

Proper lighting can:

Improve a person’s productivity: In fact, with proper lighting, productivity increases by as high as 15%. A good light can reduce absenteeism and work fatigue. It prevents nausea, vomiting, and headache. The employee also feels less stressed about work.

Prevent accidents and injuries: One of the reasons why offices and other business-related facilities should have proper lighting is to avoid injuries and accidents that may lead to missed days at work, long-term or permanent disability, and even death. It is the duty of every employer and right of every worker to have good lighting in the work space as mandated by law and as supervised by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Enhance a person’s mood: Lighting is already considered as major component in office management and brand building. Take, for example, an Italian restaurant that is designed primarily for couples. Lights would probably be more ambient or low as compared to the lighting in an office. The lighting effect can promote intimacy and coziness. Boutiques and other retail shops are now employing lights to highlight some of their most luxurious goods.

In the winter, at least 6% of the U.S. population develops the winter blues, a type of seasonal depression that usually happens during the colder months. One of the major causes is less hours of sunlight. Meanwhile, in a study conducted by R. Kuller and colleagues, which was released in 2006, a worker’s mood can drop to the lowest levels when the workspace seems darker than usual.

Benefit the health: The body has its own clock called the circadian rhythm. It controls a lot of metabolic functions and activities, as well as when to wake up and fall asleep. This clock, however, is dependent on light. To be more specific, the absence of light, such as at night time, compels the body to produce melatonin, which relaxes the body so it is more prepared to fall asleep.

Bad lighting therefore sends mixed messages into your body clock, disrupting its normal functions. When this happens, an employee may develop sleeping disorders, hormonal imbalances, and even metabolic syndromes.

Compensate for reduced visual acuity: Aging is a process that creates several massive changes in the body. These include the person’s ability to see clearly. The eyes can control the amount of light that go through via the irises, which can contract or expand. As the person ages, though, the flexibility of the irises drops, making it harder to see objects properly. Good lighting can take into account this physiological change and allow older workers to perform their jobs with ease, comfort, and safety.

Proper lighting—one that promotes better health, safety, and comfort for everyone—is more than aesthetics. It’s about enjoying quality of life even in the workplace.
Amanda Dawson
Amanda Dawson

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