This may sound dramatic, but in the workplace it’s easy to underestimate the impact that lighting can have on morale and performance. Just as great lighting can help staff work accurately and productively, poor lighting can trigger headaches and is even linked to absenteeism.
Consider a recent study, in which 36% of employees admitted they’d be less likely to take sick days if their workplace was more inspiring. Out of those surveyed, a quarter said poor lighting impacted their well-being.
The research, undertaken by YouGov and office design company Oktra, suggests clear links between poor workplace design and productivity. Increasingly, it’s becoming clear that if we want our staff to thrive and perform to the best of their ability, we need to create comfortable, well-lit environments which support them in every task.1
Let me explain how modern LED lighting can make a big difference!
In an industrial environment, staff are often under pressure to pack and assemble goods efficiently. Yet without sufficient lighting, they may struggle to see clearly, potentially causing them to underperform and make costly mistakes. Here, LEDs provide the ideal solution. Fixtures distribute light evenly, reducing shadow and ensuring optimum visibility.
In packing areas, high bay fixtures and and linear trunking systems distribute light vertically, which ensures labels are easy to read and enables workers to operate quickly and effectively.
Traditional strip lighting is associated with a flickering effect, which users sometimes blame for headaches and eye strain. This can lead to poor morale and performance issues, potentially resulting in sick days and a fall in productivity.
In contrast, LED high bays and linear trunking systems have the power to transform a space with evenly diffused light, improving visibility and reducing eyestrain.
Low energy LED lighting is known for being eco-friendly, but it’s also people-friendly too. LED luminaires emit considerably less heat than many traditional light sources, meaning factory floors remain cooler.
In a hot climate, this improved thermal comfort can have considerable benefits for performance. One study carried out in India’s manufacturing industry found that when standard fluorescent lighting was switched to LED, productivity no longer plummeted on very hot days2.
Industrial workplaces rarely benefit from daylight, and this lack of natural light can play havoc with our circadian rhythms. However, thanks to smart technologies, LEDs can be adjusted in colour and intensity throughout the day, ensuring the artificial light supports our body clocks. In the morning for example, staff can be exposed to bright light, which closely mimics sunlight and acts as a mild stimulant.
This energising power is confirmed by well-respected web platform Lighting for People. The European platform cites two studies, revealing that daytime exposure to bright light makes people feel livelier and more alert. Likewise, when researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital experimented with blue light, the participants reported faster reaction times and that they felt less sleepy.
Lighting has a vital role to play when it comes to workplace safety, especially in an industrial setting. At many factories and warehouses, workers are required to wear ear defenders as part of their personal protective equipment to reduce their exposure to noise. In this scenario, they rely on lighting systems to alert them to emergency situations, such as fire alarms. Using intelligent lighting systems which increase and decrease lighting levels is an effective way of alerting workers to danger, whilst also allowing them to carry on working productively.
In today’s increasingly competitive business world, it’s more important than ever to maximise the productivity of your workforce. By replacing outmoded lighting with a well-designed LED system, you’ll enable your staff to perform to the best of their ability, boosting their accuracy, energy and comfort. Surely, that has to be a worthwhile investment.
About the writer
Cédric joined Schréder in 2013 with a solid experience in marketing. With his expertise and industry knowledge, Cédric leads the Industry and Large Area Business segments including Sport Lighting and BREEAM certification. He collaborates with our research, product development, sales teams worldwide and sport associations to deliver sustainable and energy efficient lighting solutions, tailored to each individual project using the latest in lighting calculation software, lighting management systems and BIM techniques.
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