Our good friend and colleague the Greenlite Lighting Doctor has been busy taking the temperature of the nation. He tells us things are looking a lot more like ‘stressmas’ than Christmas. There’s plenty of folk out there – many of whom are working long, anti-social hours in the retail sector – who need a little bit of help to get them through this crazy time.
The Lighting Doctor’s worries are well backed-up by survey statistics from the likes of AXA PPP Healthcare published this week. Their research – focuses on SMEs (which make up 99.9% of the UK’s private sector businesses, and employ nearly three-fifths of its workforce and account for 48% of the turnover) are hard to ignore.
It seems 47% of us work 4 or more hours of overtime per week (and for half us, this work is unpaid!) No wonder we’re all tired by December. But, just spare a thought for those working in retail. Their days can be long, tiring and, busy. And it’s often back to work on Boxing Day for the sales, too.
Not much down time there then.
The good news is we think we have the solution.
Let’s talk about the ways good-quality, well-designed lighting can make a difference to you and your staff over the tiring festive period.
Because there’s plenty of evidence to support the idea that exposure to the right light, at the right time, could improve our staff’s ability to deal with stress, help them to sleep better and make them feel more alert.
Here’s 4 things to think about.
- Maximise daylight. It’s free, so why not? Workplaces with more daylight have been found to benefit employees – reducing sick days and improving sleep patterns.You see, our daily wake / sleep cycle is fundamentally linked to the rising and setting of the sun. Daylight stimulates our circadian rhythm, giving our brain its cue to wake up in the morning. But modern life (and the disruption caused by Christmas working schedules) can play havoc with this natural rhythm. We expose our bodies to bright light at night then, all too often, starve ourselves of a decent level of light by day. In these dark months, we think you need to ask – do your staff get enough?If the answer’s no, do try and encourage your team to get some fresh air during their breaks.
- Find out more about human-centric lighting. This people-friendly way of lighting spaces supports our daily rhythms. Thanks to modern LED systems, which are designed to give us great visibility, while also supporting our wellbeing, it’s easy to achieve. It’s important to know that modern LEDs are perfect for people! They can be adjusted in colour and intensity throughout the working day, bolstering our changing needs. This might sound like complicated stuff, but, believe us – it’s all achievable – and the results in terms of happier, healthier more engaged, productive staff can astonishing in terms of productivity.
- Let’s work out what the ‘slump’ times are. If you’re a team leader or a business owner, you’ll know your staff’s working schedules inside and out. So, let’s use lighting to help stimulate energy levels when we know there’s a problem. This is often in the morning or after lunch.Lighting systems can be programmed so they are brighter, with a cooler colour temperature. When peace and calm is needed, warmer lighting comes into play. Of course there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, so you and your workforce will also be able to tweak the lighting settings to suit individual needs. It’s a flexible, bespoke solution.
- Think about the bigger picture.Getting the light right doesn’t just support our daily rhythms, it can also influence how our teams and people feel about their working environment. Many report that a higher intensity of light makes a space seem livelier and more relaxed. And while more research is needed, it’s been suggested that exposure to brighter light during the day may also encourage better sleep, hopefully with the knock-on effect that we feel invigorated when awake.
Ultimately, a happy, energised workforce is likely to result in lower staff turnover, perhaps even boosting productivity. That’s got to be good for your bottom line.
To find out how Greenlite Group can help you achieve better lighting for your teams over the festive period, give us a call 0844 880 2116.