Bad Mood in the Workplace? Try Changing the Lights

April 13, 2017 Sanjana Saluja

If you haven't yet considered lighting ergonomics for your new office or expanding office design, pause and look around. Lighting can have a major impact on your company's overall mood and creativity. Inc. reflects on the issues with office lighting and explores how it can be improved.

If you hate the lights in your office, you're not alone. A study conducted by the American Society of Interior Designers showed that 68 percent of employees were dissatisfied about the lighting situation in their offices. That's a large percentage of people across the country, indicating it's not a question of personal taste. It's a daily ergonomics issue.

Lighting is considered one of the most important factors in ergonomics, but too often this part of an office's design is overlooked, rushed, or sacrificed for style. After a while, you may notice quietly frustrated employees hauling in their own table lights and floor lamps to find the perfect blend of visual accuracy and not-so-corporate ambiance. You may have even been part of a group who hacked together shipping boxes to reduce screen glare from loft windows or overhead fluorescent lights.

It's no secret that dim lighting can strain the eyes and cause headaches, lowering productivity and resulting in employee fatigue. Dim lights also result in drowsiness or lack of focus.

Harsh lighting is a much more common culprit. It's just as harmful as dim lighting, causing eye strain and even triggering migraine headaches.

According to Leo Widrich, co-founder of Buffer, "Our cortisol levels drop significantly under artificial or poor lighting conditions. That means that we'll be more stressed, and have less ability to stabilize our energy levels."

Find out the answers to bad lighting here.

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