Although the past year has seen a sharp increase in the number of people working from home, we’ll likely be heading back to the office soon – so now is the time to evaluate your work environment! Do you provide a comfortable workspace for your employees? Does your work environment breed a healthy attitude to work that keeps your staff happy and productive? Are there any parts of your office that could be tweaked for the better, such as your office lighting?
Asking yourself these types of questions before your office becomes a bustling hub of calls, deadlines and general colleague chit chat is extremely important. Your office lighting, in particular, should be awarded a sizeable chunk of your attention. Achieving the optimum office lighting through natural bright light, bespoke lampshades and the many other tips we discuss in this article will have dramatic effects on the general atmosphere of your workplace – for the better!
To help you better understand why it’s crucial to think twice about your office lighting and how you can improve it without breaking the bank or distracting your employees, read on for our comprehensive guide.
Office Lighting: Why Does It Matter?
“Your lighting can affect the productivity of your office!” isn’t just something people say for no reason. There’s a wealth of evidence to suggest that lighting plays an instrumental role in how people feel in the workplace. A 2007 study analysing the effects of lighting on productivity in an electronics factory even found that better illumination correlated with increased speed of work.
Our bodies function according to what’s known as a circadian rhythm, with the rise of the morning sun alerting us to the fact that it’s time to get up and seize the day, and the arrival of the darkness encouraging us to slow down and sleep. If we’re forced to work in conditions without enough light, we’re likely to feel low in energy and moods.
On the other hand, if we’re expected to work in conditions with overwhelmingly bright lights, we may start to develop headaches and other ailments. There’s a delicate balance to strike, and your office must achieve this equilibrium to keep your workers feeling their best and working efficiently!
How to Achieve Optimum Office Lighting
We spend a vast amount of time at work, and if environmental factors such as light, noise and temperature aren’t properly considered, the hours spent at our desks can be extremely uncomfortable. But, how do you go about creating a perfectly lit office workspace? From optimising the natural bright light you have available to investing in expertly crafted bespoke lampshades, here are our top tips.
Find Out What Your Employees Think About Your Office Lights
Before you make any changes to your office, it pays to find out exactly what your employees think about the current lighting. Is it too bright? Is it too dark? Do they wish they could adjust the lighting themselves? Is the lighting in your boardrooms perfect, but terrible in your office kitchen? These types of questions will help you make sensible decisions about the changes you make to your office lighting.
After all, you don’t want to make huge changes to your office if you’re not tackling the most important areas. Talking to your employees before making any major adjustments to the work environment is good practice, and will help you get the most out of the changes you make.
Illuminate Your Office With Natural Light
Of course, every office building needs artificial lighting, but making the most of the available natural light streaming into your property can have many great benefits. Firstly, natural lighting can be a great mood booster. For the employees who spend hours of their day inside working at a desk, being able to feel connected to the outdoors can help to improve their general mood. This will likely have a positive effect on their productivity, too.
What’s more, making the most of any available natural light could help you make impressive cost savings. By allowing sunlight to stream into your office, and only switching your indoor lights on when it’s necessary, you’ll ensure energy efficiency, reduced bills and a smaller carbon footprint.
Ideally, you’ll make the most of the natural light in your office’s communal areas, such as the kitchen. In areas where there are lots of computer screens, you’ll want to minimise sunlight glare and may need to rely more heavily on artificial lighting.
Allow Employees to Personalise Their Desk Lighting
Your employees are the people most affected by your workplace lighting, so why not allow them to personalise their immediate surroundings? This way, you give your staff the flexibility to create an office environment that most reflects what the general workforce wants.
Allowing your employees to personalise your office lighting doesn’t necessarily mean giving them free rein over new light installations and fixtures! It could be as simple as equipping each desk with a lamp or wall light that can be switched on or off depending on the time of day. If your employees can illuminate their desks as they wish, they’ll be much more comfortable throughout their shift.
Maintain Balance by Choosing Lights with the Same Colour Temperature
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing the correct lighting for your office is colour temperature. Colour temperature refers to the warmth of the light created by a bulb; bulbs range from cool to warm, with cool temperatures offering a blue-tinged light and warm temperatures offering a yellow-hued light.
The colour temperature of the bulbs you install in your workspace will affect how your office looks and feels, so it’s important to maintain consistency throughout. Although you might decide to create varying levels of warmth and brightness in different rooms (e.g. your reception may use different lighting than your boardrooms) try to avoid using different bulb colours and temperatures in the same room. Even slight variations could be disjointing for your employees.
Create Work and Social Zones Using Lights
As we touched on in the previous point, you may decide to use different light bulb colours and temperatures in different rooms. When creating different work zones with lighting, make sure to think carefully about the purpose of each area. Will your employees be working in this zone, or catching up with colleagues over a coffee?
As a general rule, warm, yellow bulbs are best suited for relaxing spaces where your employees can sit and enjoy downtime, such as your kitchen or common areas. Cool, blue lights, however, may be a more suitable choice for the areas where you need to encourage productivity. Making strategic lighting decisions can help to create a more comfortable and efficient workspace!
To help you cut your business’s energy consumption, you could always fit lights with motion sensors in rooms that aren’t in constant use, such as your bathrooms.
Choose Energy-Efficient LED Light Bulbs
The most popular light bulb styles for commercial environments have changed significantly over the decades, as lighting technology evolves and our understanding of how light affects mood and productivity gets better.
Today, LED light bulbs are perhaps the most obvious choice for offices, owing to their energy efficiency (especially compared to traditional incandescent and fluorescent bulbs) and the wide range of temperatures available. LED lights can also be dimmed according to the needs of your office, which can be useful when delivering training presentations or wowing potential new clients with a great pitch.
You’ll also be pleased to know that LED lights are becoming much more affordable, making them much more accessible to install in homes and businesses.
Reflect Company Branding with Custom Lampshades
We’ve spoken a lot about lighting colours and temperatures, but there’s more to creating the perfect office lighting than bulbs! Finding beautiful lampshades to give your workspace character and charm is also crucial, as this will help to create a much more comfortable ambience and boost your property’s visual appeal.
Fitting bespoke lampshades to match your company’s colour scheme will help to create a more attractive, and hopefully more productive, environment. If your office looks great, your employees are more likely to feel inspired! What’s more, the right lampshade will soften the glare of naked bulbs without blocking the light completely, helping to illuminate your work floor without it being overwhelmingly bright.
When it comes to sourcing beautiful bespoke lampshades for your office, don’t forget to match the colour of the drum to your overall palette and the warmth of the bulbs they’ll be used with. For instance, while a warm, yellow bulb will complement one of our gorgeous wooden lamps well, it’ll likely clash with one of our silver or grey drums.
Buy a Bespoke Lampshade Online with Dorval Lighting
Enhance your office lighting with a beautiful custom lampshade from the interior experts at Dorval Lighting. With an expansive selection of gorgeous lamps, available in a wide array of stunning shades and colours, we have everything you need to bring your workspace to life.
Whether you’re looking for single pendant lights, linear ceiling lights or a range of handmade silk drums, make Dorval Lighting your one-stop-shop. Browse our selection online today or contact us to discuss our range of lighting options in more detail!