21 January 2020
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CRE
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How lighting affects employee efficiency

Alexey Burykin, entrepreneur, founder of QPRO company tells how lighting affects the performance of employees, and how a business can earn more by investing in the right lighting
21 January 2020
Source
CRE
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Today many companies are fighting for human resources. HR specialists come up with different ways to incentivize staff: they develop a corporate culture, develop social packages and create a comfortable working environment. The last one is most important because people spend most of their lives at work. Correctly selected lighting helps to bring comfort to the office space. It will also allow the business not only to save up to 50 percent of energy costs, but also to build effective communication and increase the efficiency of employees.

How it works? Working efficiency depends on how the specialist copes with the visual load, what his emotional state is and well-being, how comfortable or uncomfortable he feels at the workplace. The ability of a lighting system to respond to the needs of employees affects their performance. The lighting is controlled by a control system. The scenario can be either programmed, taking into account the needs of employees, their working mode, or it can be adjusted during operation depending on the tasks.
Balance of vertical and horizontal illumination must be maintained in order to ensure visual comfort. In a room where there is a strong contrast between them, the eyes will tire quickly. The arrangement of light sources should not cause visual discomfort. Devices should be designed or mounted in such a way that they do not cause dazzle, fatigue. The ratio of general and local illumination, as well as vertical and horizontal, must be within the specified values. For millions of years of being under the influence of solar energy, a person is accustomed to waking up with a light that is gaining brightness and becomes colder by the daytime hours of activity. Light intensity levels diminish and take on warmer hues as a relaxed night-time approach. These principles in an office lighting system can maintain employee morale and circadian rhythms that affect employee productivity.

Comfortably increasing the brightness and color temperature of light for a short period of time can provide an energy boost comparable to a cup of coffee and provide vigor, the reverse settings can promote relaxation or help a person switch at the end of the work day. Lighting standards have been developed in order to organize the correct lighting in the office. They regulate the values of horizontal illumination in different areas of the office, its uniformity, and the brightness of devices. These values ensure the performance of visual tasks.

The atmosphere, comfort is created by a lighting designer, whose arsenal includes not only regulatory documents, but also research data, a personal library of lighting situations. Big importance while creating lighting are periods of change in color temperature, lighting intensity. They can be programmed considering the activity of employees during the day. The most popular scenario is to simulate the cycles of natural light, which gains intensity and color temperature in the morning hours, and turns into a warmer spectrum in the afternoon, the intensity level weakens. For example, a well-known Dutch technology giant has implemented a scenario of changing the color temperature in two cycles at the Czech headquarters of an energy company. Employees start their working day with the highest values, stimulating activity at 8 am. By lunchtime levels drop, setting workers to take a break. In the afternoon, the cycle repeats with lower illumination values. Correct lighting “controls” not only the employees of the company, but also its guests. For example, it can significantly affect the dialogue during negotiations. There are studies that prove that warm light with a direct and reflected component disposes the interlocutor to communicate.

Lighting designers often rely on research results in their work. This helps to consider in the project not only technical standards, but also the real needs of the customer and the end user. It is usually important for the customer to create a comfortable working environment. Solutions to this problem can be fundamentally different, for example, in brand positioning. And, for example, the office of an Internet holding should translate its flexibility and dynamism, and the office of a large investment company – stability and prosperity.

These characteristics are laid down not only the interior design, but also in lighting. In the first case, employees are not tied to their places, but move freely in the office space. Here the right solution is to create a uniform lighting for the workplace, which can be adjusted to your preferences. The cool color temperature of the office should be combined with the warm color temperature in recreational areas. So that, if you wish, you can transfer from a work environment to an informal area for communication or relaxation.

The best option in lighting for an investment company is to emphasize the laconic interior design and the status of the business. In this case, the entrance groups are illuminated with decorative lamps. They create an atmosphere of trust and comfort. For those companies whose work schedule does not always fit into the framework of a normal working day, I would advise to choose not a general office lighting but use a more flexible solutions. Since not all employees work there at the same time, install local lamps at each workplace. They will allow employees not only to customize the lights to their needs, but also enable the company to reduce energy costs.

Thus, investing in the right lighting, a company can count on added value in the form of energy savings, increase of productivity and effective communication. But you can only achieve the desired result with a good lighting designer. He will teach you how to control lighting so that you can effectively manage your team.

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