Lighting is an important feature when designing a room. Lighting is far more than simply illuminating décor, the styles and types of light affect the way we work and feel in that room. Certain lights can be straining, both on the eyes and the mind. Light can be both too much and too little, and either outcome can have consequences. Many individuals find working in a particular lighting can cause headaches or migraines. Eyesight can even worsen due to straining. In an office or study, research different types of light and fixtures prior to installation. It’s important when doing research to consider your exact needs. Studies have found certain lighting causes productivity, while others can promote creativity. Natural light is preferred over artificial light. Utilizing the sun’s rays in an office or home relaxes the body and promotes positive energy.
Dim lighting is commonly considered unproductive. The dark tone forces the eyes to strain, causing headaches and fatigue. Dim lighting however, is also accredited with enticing creativity in an individual. In a productive office environment, the dim light coupled with the constant staring at computer screens can tire an individual. This fatigue can cause sluggishness and irritability. However, in a creative setting, the simulation of dark allows the mind to drift. Creating a “lit dream” environment stimulates the imagination by allowing the individual to feel as though it is sleeping. This situation is often found as relaxing and preferred by many artists.
Natural light is hands down the preferred lighting for productivity. Exposure to natural light tunes our inner clock, causing us to be more alert and productive during day hours. Additionally, the eye enjoys natural light. Working in natural light causes the eye to strain less, thus absolving the symptoms related. The human body enjoys being in tune with the sun and daylight, often resulting in a more up-beat mentality. Working with natural light also aids the body’s sleep patterns. Many individuals find they sleep heavier and experience a better REM cycle. Increased exposure to natural light has also found such effects as decrease in absenteeism, decrease in illnesses and higher retention.
When discussing lighting in the office, it’s important to remember the Hawthorne Effect. The Hawthorne Effect was coined in the 1950s after a series of experiments on lighting levels and productivity was found inconclusive. While productivity was heightened after lighting levels changed, the effect soon wore off. A few weeks after the experiments concluded, productivity was seen to have reversed to its old ways. It was after deep analysis that Henry A. Landsberger discovered the lighting had nothing to do with the productivity levels at all. With the subjects being aware of the experiment, the individuals working were more productive as a product of attention. The lighting did prove temporary results, but with the consideration of all three stages; before, during and after, the lighting was proven to have very little effect on the workers.
Creating a productive workspace requires attention to detail. Install a desk or workspace appropriate for your needs, furniture that may be required, décor to relax you, the list goes on. Lighting is a highly important factor when creating a productive workspace. Productivity and stress don’t have to pair together, by creating an office space that is accommodated to your needs; you will find yourself enjoying your work more. Offices have shown benefits from adjusting their lighting formats, causing higher retention and lower absences. Focus on wattage, color and exposure when situating your light source, or utilize free sunbeams by installing a window. Be happy with your work by prioritizing your wants and needs.