When we are tasked with thinking about the different aspects of productivity, we must make sure that we take all of the factors into account and consideration. It may come as a surprise to you, but research has been able to determine that light is one the most important determinants of productivity.
What this means is that the way that your home or office is lit up and is decorated can have a huge impact on your levels of productivity. This is not that surprising if you really think about it though. Just think about the difference working in bed vs working at a desk in the office makes. If you can imagine this scenario, then you can probably understand just how important a role our environment plays in our levels of productivity.
Science has been keeping up with this line of thought as well and has been looking into just how exactly office lighting affects our levels of productivity and also the efficiency of the workers. The findings so far have been not that surprising and it has been found that light really does play a very important role in our productivity levels in the office.
In fact, it is just not in office settings where light is a determining factor of productivity. In any environment, people tend to be more productive when the lighting in that environment is conducive to working.
Why Light Matters
We have an internal body clock in our systems that is known as the circadian rhythm. Every day, through the hours of the day, our bodies are set into a routine by this circadian rhythm.
In fact, it functions even when we are asleep. These rhythms happen to be responsible for our daily behavior and also our daily patterns of mood as well. They help us by letting us perform at the very top of our game and they make use of the hormones of the body in order to regulate the sleep and wake cycles that we have.
And it is not just limited to that as well. The circadian rhythm of our bodies is also responsible for a lot of the daily processes that our bodies go through. This includes things such as our metabolism, our mental alertness, and also our appetites. All of these processes get switched on or off according to the settings of the internal body clock that we all have.
This body clock of ours is in turn kept in regular action by a group of cells known as the SNC. These are cells that are found in our brains and they need proper light to be exposed to them in order for them to function properly and differentiate between days and nights.
These cells, the SNC cells, are responsible for the release of melatonin when our eyes are exposed to darkness. This serves the all-important function of letting the body know when to go to sleep.
When we spend time in environments that are poorly lit during the day, a very undesirable effect takes place. What happens is that the low exposure to adequate light makes our internal clock to get disrupted. Also, melatonin is regularly released as the day goes on. What this does, in particular, is that it makes us feel very sluggish and tired throughout the day.
If this type of exposure to poor lighting goes on for a long period of time, then there is the very real possibility that the consistent release of melatonin can create both hormonal and chemical imbalances. This will result in a misalignment of the internal body clock. When this misalignment happens, it can be the cause of a number of issues including sleep disorders, disturbances in mood, etc.
The Disadvantages Of Poor Office Lighting
Not only will poor lighting mess with your circadian rhythm and cause it to get misaligned, but it also has a very wide range of other undesirable effects that can really end up costing you a lot of productivity.
Strain On The Eye
If the lighting in your office is not proper, then it will put a lot of strain on your eyes. This means that you will have a difficult time working properly, difficulty in seeing computers and also in reading documents. A lot of research has gone into this and the leading ones suggest that offices with poor lighting cost employees about 15 minutes of productivity during the span of the day.
Employee Satisfaction Gets Diminished
People who have to work in places with poor lighting have long been reporting that their sleep quality is markedly lower than those who work in properly lit up offices. This lack of proper sleep or poor sleep can cause a lot of problems in the long run. It can even manifest itself in the form of physical problems as well.
In general, it will lead to a markedly lower quality of life and lower employee satisfaction.
How Light Therapy Can Help
Of course, the best type of lighting that you can possibly get is natural light. So, if it is possible, make sure that you get enough natural light into your offices. There are a whole host of benefits of being exposed to natural light and it includes things such as lower stress levels, anxiety levels, reduced drowsiness, etc.
However, it is not always possible to get adequate natural light into an office space, it may simply just not be possible. In cases such as these, light therapy can really help. The way light therapy works is by simulating the light found in the outdoors in an indoor setting. There are many light therapy desk lamps available that are perfect for office settings.
If you think that your office would benefit from a little extra light, make sure that you get yourselves one of these light therapy desk lamps. This really does have the potential to significantly increase your levels of productivity in the office.