This week I’ve been focusing on light and the workplace.
This Deloitte study offers some convincing evidence that lighting, as part of an overall culture of well-being is no longer a nice-to-have… ‘Leaders understand that the physical and mental well-being of their people has a direct impact on organisational performance’ – Well-being: A new cornerstone for ESG strategy and reporting
So it’s perhaps surprising that a recent Leesman survey of over 840,000 employees found that 64% of offices are ‘enablers’ – which leaves 36% that are not. And some actively get in the way of getting the job done. To quote Dr Peggie Rothe: ‘Good lighting is is as an important part of of an outstanding workplace and an outstanding workplace has an impact on business performance’.
And what does that mean for our ‘post-Covid’ hot-desking world? This paper explains ‘Standards provide lighting recommendations to ensure a comfortably lit office environment… but they do not take into account that lighting requirements between neighbouring users might differ due to their mood, activity, or preference. Providing everyone with satisfying lighting conditions becomes a challenge.’ – Lighting preference profiles of users in an open office environment
Hospitals are workplaces too. The quality of light affects the quality of care that our amazing nurses can give – and helps them to stay healthier and happier while they do so for hours and days on end. This fascinating paper shows just what a difference it can make: to quote: Nurses working in a hospital with a ‘contemporary environment of care’ (zones of luminaires with separate controls for each zone, with additional lighting for nighttime navigation) consistently reported higher lighting quality, fewer patient complaints, and less need for supplemental lighting than those in hospitals with a ‘traditional environment of care’ (few luminaires (typically less than five) in each patient room, with simple switching controls and without dimming capabilities) – Nurses’ Satisfaction With Patient Room Lighting Conditions: A Study of Nurses in Four Hospitals With Differences in the Environment of Care
Good-quality lighting is not just good for white-collar workers. It can be a life-saver for the millions who work in construction, oil and gas industries. According to this article in HazardEx, (link) ‘in 2017 alone, European workers suffered 3.3 million injuries and 3,552 workplace fatalities. With a cost of some €476 billion (£431bn), workplace accidents amount to 3.3% of GDP. This paper showed ‘up to a 48% reduction in average trip detection time using a Saturn LED lamp (designed by the NIOSH researchers) compared to standard compact fluorescents. For the Saturn lamp, trip object miss rates were <0.5% for all age groups in contrast to the CFL, which ranged between 32.5% for the youngest group and 50.4% for the oldest group.’ – LED lighting for improving trip object detection for a walk-thru roof bolter
We’re used to spending money on productivity tools on our computers and phones – perhaps it’s time to look at the lights the same way!