Improving levels of productivity in the workplace is a challenge which employers have grappled with for years. Striking the balance between increased sales and employee satisfaction can be a tricky business.
In the past, UK labour productivity has grown by approximately 2% per year, but since the credit crunch in 2008 it has stagnated and productivity fallen rapidly. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently acknowledged the so-called ‘productivity puzzle’, releasing research showing that output per hour in the UK is over 15% below average, when compared to the rest of the G7 group of advanced economies.
Although the causes may not be crystal clear, there are a number of factors that can have an impact on productivity in the workplace. One which doesn’t get the attention it deserves, however, is lighting.
Of course, it’s common knowledge that dim or poorly lit spaces can cause issues when reading or focusing on a particular object, but lighting has a far bigger impact beyond that, and a business’ lighting set up can have a significant impact on productivity in the workplace.
It’s proven that dim or harsh, undiffused lighting can have a detrimental effect on workplace productivity. Headaches and eye strain are common symptoms of poor quality or dim lighting, meaning people have to work a lot harder to be able to see effectively. Because of this, dim or low lighting can cause drowsiness and a lack of focus leading to a reduction in employee concentration and productivity.
Harsh, bright lighting, meanwhile, is just as harmful. Strip and florescent lighting can cause significant eye strain and is known as a trigger for migraine headaches. Harsh lighting also makes it especially difficult for the eyes to focus, leading to a downturn in workplace performance.
One of the best alternatives to dim and harsh lighting is natural light. According to research, windows are one of the main factors when determining an employees’ level of satisfaction within a workplace. This is due to the way natural lighting affects us, both by affecting how well we are able to see, and the impact it has on our behavior and mood. By increasing window capacity to allow more natural light into an office or retail premises, employers can benefit from a happier workforce, fewer illnesses, less absenteeism and improved productivity.
Architects and designers are always trying to find new ways to allow more natural light to penetrate buildings, but it’s often difficult and expensive to ensure every area of a workplace is lit effectively. The good news is, however, with advances in LED lighting technology, businesses can now replicate natural light and enjoy the benefits that comes with it.
Colour temperature – a term used to describe the look and feel of artificial lighting – is another factor in how we are affected by light. The temperature of artificial lighting is measured in Kelvins (K), and most lighting systems usually land between 2,000K and 6,500K.
Colour temperatures – or hues – are often referred to as either ‘warm’ or ‘cold’. Cold hues are generally brighter than warm hues and are proven to lead to higher productivity levels in the workplace. Cold lighting can also help counteract the effects of seasonal affective disorder (also known as SAD), a condition which is thought to affect up to 15% of workers in the winter months when there is less natural light leading to a lower mood and a reduction in alertness and energy levels.
Although the thought of fitting a new lighting system into your office, store, factory or warehouse may seem like a daunting prospect, the many benefits that modern LED lighting can bring to your workplace are hard to discount.
As well as saving energy, which leads to lower energy bills and a better carbon footprint, your investment will be more than repaid from the returns made in employee productivity.
As light is the main component of vision – and vision is responsible for nearly 90% of our perception of our surroundings – it’s easy to see why the right kind of lighting is important, not just in terms of properly illuminating a building, but also in making the workplace a comfortable and productive environment for workers.
Our market-leading LED lighting systems are designed to deliver high performance, be more efficient and last longer, saving businesses up to 75% on their energy bills and up to 90% on maintenance costs, when compared to traditional lighting systems. For employers, LED lights also help improve staff well-being in the workplace, leading to higher productivity levels.
There are a number of additional benefits to choosing an Airius LED lighting system for your business, including:
At Airius we’ve worked with many leading UK and international businesses including the likes of Next, Lloyds, Harrods, BT, Vodafone, Qantas, John Lewis and Siemens. We currently provide a wide range of industry-leading LED lighting systems that are proven to both save energy, improve efficiency and increase productivity levels.
If you would like to benefit from our innovative workplace lighting solutions, get in touch with our knowledgeable and friendly team today. Contact us by calling 01202 554 200 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to provide you with further information.