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How Lighting Improves Productivity in the Workplace

Aside from how much your monthly energy bills run, how much thought have you put into the lighting in your workspaces? Lighting a work area can consume as much as 50 percent of a company’s energy costs,[i] in addition to the significant expense of installation and maintenance. Most businesses don't take time to analyze how the quality of light they provide workers can improve productivity, decrease errors, and lead to happier employees who stay at their jobs.

Good Lighting Increases Work Productivity

Bright, high quality light doesn't just allow workers to better see their work. Better lighting improves the attitude of workers, and leads to a number of improvements that both directly and indirectly improve their productivity during work hours. Good lighting from high-quality light sources, like GE lamps, reduces fatigue levels, lowers eye strain, reduces the number of headaches workers experience, and even helps them get better sleep during their off hours.

These improvements have led to lower rates of employee absenteeism (as much as 40 percent less, by some studies), lower rates of obesity, and lower rates of weight-related illnesses, including diabetes. Good light can also lower instances of depression, bi-polar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is a condition of depression related directly to one's exposure to natural lighting.[ii]

Good Lighting Improves Work Quality

The best example of how good quality lighting can improve the quality of work produced is the case study of the Reno Post Office. In an attempt to reduce energy costs, the post office installed a new $300,000 lighting system. The goal was $50,000 in energy savings, but an unintended bonus came when workers' error rates dropped to an astounding 1 percent, saving the post office an additional $400,000. The new lighting system paid for itself without even counting the energy savings.[iii]

Though a great deal of research on lighting solutions and the effects of lighting have been done in the past couple of decades, few employers are applying this data to real-world work situations. However, labor costs account for 85 percent of most business' expenses, compared to 1 percent of expenses related to lighting costs. This means that improving work quality through effective lighting solutions can erase the costs of a lighting bill. In other words, a good GE lamp can improve your workers' productivity and quality so much that it can make up for all of the electricity you use to light the building.[iv]

Good Lighting Improves Employees' Quality of Life

High-quality lighting can help workers produce more and reduce their error rates, but it can also help you attract and retain a good workforce. Workers are more likely to stay on the job and report higher levels of job satisfaction when quality lighting is provided. Workers in well-lit environments score higher on quality of life tests, and also report having a higher level of morale than those in poorly-lit spaces. Workers with good lighting also have fewer sleep disturbances, which can lead to daytime dysfunction. With good sleep, workers are more likely to be healthier, suffer fewer work-related injuries, and experience less fatigue, headaches, and eye problems.[v]

The Illumination Engineering Society of North America provides a handbook featuring their recommended guidelines for lighting workspaces.[vi] The ideal lighting, of course, is natural sunlight, which offers a full spectrum of colors. When this is not possible, it's important to choose a light that offers a good range of colors, ample candlepower, and a lighting delivery system that offers good coverage and reduces the need for supplemental lighting, such as desk lamps.

 

Bio:

Telecom Electrical Supply Company, or TES, offers excellent lighting solutions for all types of workplaces, including office buildings, government facilities, manufacturing and warehousing facilities, and much more. Operating as the largest minority-owned operation in their area of Texas, TES supplies lighting solutions for the state of Texas and far beyond. TES doesn't just sell lighting solutions, they partner with their customers to find the best solutions for energy savings, productive workers, and long-term success. Visit the website to see all the solutions TES can offer your business today.

 

Sources:

[i] http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/stories/2007/03/05/focus2.html?page=all