Let’s be honest, the standard fluorescent office lights are no longer doing us any justice from our eyes to design appeal in the office space.
Just as our phones have advanced with features to dim the blue light at night, new research is at play with bringing an advanced type of lighting into the workplace. Your body’s natural ability to wake up every day and go to sleep at night is called your circadian rhythm, your 24-hour internal clock. This lighting is meant to imitate natural light and help you stay productive during daylight hours, even while working in your office 40+ hours a week. Over a prolonged period of time, improper lighting can change your body’s natural rhythm.
For example, and no offense, have you noticed your grandparents going to bed earlier as they have aged while also getting up naturally at 3 am, and napping throughout the day? This is partially the result of a circadian rhythm change due to inconsistent lighting which leads to a lack of melatonin.
There are three main proponents of implementing circadian lighting. Intensity tuning would be considered how bright the light seems to your eye, color tuning is how the light changes in intensity during the day (mimicking the sun), and stimulus tuning or adjusting the light wavelengths to find the correct hues. Why isn’t everyone making the change? Like everything, it comes with a cost.
Does the benefit outweigh the cost? While research is still in its infancy stage, many large corporations have made the switch to these lighting systems, outfitting them with timers to have a natural hue change throughout the day to mimic the sun. Generally, we all like to have the tools we need to be successful, and if this technology generates another 30 minutes to an hour of productivity out of your team, wouldn’t this be a worthwhile investment for you? Not to mention your employees will feel appreciated knowing their employer is looking out for their health.
If changing out the lighting in your office isn’t in the budget, here are some other options to help increase your workplace wellness and culture without breaking the bank.
- Flex Hours – Everyone has their own chronograph or their own sleep schedule. Your early risers and your late risers function more effectively at different times of the day. Implementing flex hours can greatly help with company culture, employee engagement, and workplace wellness.
- Task Lighting – This is much more cost-effective when on a budget and good lighting is imperative to keeping your employees engaged throughout the day. Certain task lights even have the ability to move above and below your line of sight and adjust the brightness to help with your natural rhythm.
- Light Distribution – Use window shades to allow natural light to come in while avoiding glare throughout the day. Adjust the lighting in your office based on the horizon line in your natural line of sight and how it coincides with the sun’s placement throughout the day. Daylight hours your lighting should be coming from above you, whereas in the late afternoon/evening your light should come from under the counter, the ground, or natural fireplace levels.
Whether you are curious about circadian lighting or looking for solutions to help engage your employees by enhancing their workspaces, we are always here to help!