Inbox: On a lighter note

How you light your workplace can boost productivity, staff engagement, and health and safety performance.
So says “Lighting, Wellbeing and Performance at Work” study commissioned by Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (Philips).
Carried out by City University London’s Centre for Performance at Work, the study is the most comprehensive review ever undertaken of research into the impact of lighting on workers. The review found:
• Workplaces need to be redesigned to cope with the extensive use of technology, the growing emphasis on knowledge-intensive work, and rapid increases in globalisation and workplace diversity.
• Lighting is one of the critical factors that combine to create healthy work environments that in turn help promote employee engagement, wellbeing and measurable productivity gains.
• Worker-controlled lighting and lighting solutions tailored to the individual needs of workers have considerable potential for enhancing employees’ work satisfaction and retention.
• Investing in workplace lighting can contribute to greater employee wellbeing and performance as well as reduction of employee stress, absenteeism and industrial accidents.
• Discussion and decisions about the role of lighting on employee wellbeing and performance need to be central to strategic decisions about organisational performance, and therefore need to be initiated at board level in order to secure the commitment of the senior management team.
Philips specialises in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting. At Gateshead Council in the UK, the company has set up dynamic lighting system that mimics natural rhythms. Throughout the day, the lighting changes in brightness and warmth, to ensure employees’ biorhythms stay in tune with the natural cycle of the world beyond the office walls.
When the same system was trialled in schools in the UK, it showed that different lighting options can increase classroom performance, enhancing reading speed, and decreasing concentration-related errors and hyperactive behaviour. M

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