Lighting is often just seen as a necessity to enable us to see, but in fact it has many more qualities than the obvious ones. We should move away from just thinking of lighting for tasks and focus on creating light settings for people. Today, most people work indoors, and spends almost the entire day inside, in an unnaturally dark setting. Our light intake is responsible for sleeping and feeling well, and affects our productivity. When there is a lack of natural light to help us tell the time of day, then our body clock loses its pace, with tiredness and illness as a result.
Investing in the correct lighting for your office is important for the well being of your staff. Artificial light sources cause glare or flicker on computer screens which is linked to many ocular-related complaints such as eyestrain, blurred vision, dry eyes and headaches. Health issues caused by inadequate lighting are not restricted to the eye. It can also contribute to spinal complaints and other musculoskeletal injuries which occur when people adopt awkward postures while straining to read something under poor lighting conditions.
Symptoms of bad lighting could be related to what is known as Sick building syndrome (SBS) which includes a wide range of symptoms thought to be linked to spending time in an office environment. The most common symptoms include headache, nausea, respiratory problems, skin irritation and fatigue. It is important to get the balance of light right in order to avoid employees developing health complaints and ultimately being absent from work. Lighting should provide enough illumination so that staff can clearly read printed or handwritten documents but not be so bright that it causes glare.
It is also advisable to maximise natural light which is more feasible in open plan offices to avoid headaches and eyestrain caused by artificial sources. If you are in the process of looking for office space there are things to look out for in order to avoid your staff becoming a victim of SBS. Choose a serviced office that boasts excellent natural light. This will help improve working conditions for your staff, and the large windows will improve ventilation.