Stress Awareness Month is a much-needed national initiative that aims to help companies and individuals to recognise and deal with the stresses of modern life. Here at Greenlite Group, we asked our own expert, the Lighting Doctor, to explain how lighting can reduce stress and increase productivity.
Did you know that more than 11 million days are lost at work each year as a result of stress? It can also result in a drop off in an employee’s performance and their productivity.
To tackle this, it is vitally important we create working environments where healthy practices are actively promoted in a bid to reduce stress and boost staff efficiency. Lighting plays an important role in achieving this. When you consider poor lighting is one of the UK’s biggest office grumbles it’s something you can’t afford to ignore.
There is increasing evidence to suggest that exposure to the right light, at the right time, could improve our ability to deal with stress, as well as help us sleep better and make us feel more alert.
Our daily 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. By night, low lighting tells our bodies it’s time to wind down and release sleep inducing hormones.
Yet modern life plays havoc with our natural rhythm, and poor lighting is thought to have links with depression, lower productivity and health issues. So getting workplace lighting right is crucial to maintaining employee productivity.
Imagine then, if we could tailor office lighting so it supports our daily rhythms. Enter human-centric LED systems. These are designed to give us great visibility, whilst also supporting our wellbeing. And they can be adjusted in colour and intensity throughout the working day, bolstering our changing needs.
For example, when our energy levels need stimulating, luminaires can be programmed so they are brighter, with a cooler colour temperature. When peace and calm is required, warmer lighting comes into play. Of course there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, so you and your workforce can modify the settings to suit individual needs. It’s a flexible, bespoke solution.
Our message to businesses is this: by having a lighting system which supports your employee’s wellbeing, it reduces stress and gives them the boost they need to be more productive. That’s got to be good for your bottom line.
If all this sounds complicated and expensive – fear not. Most offices and workplaces can be upgraded to modern LED technology without significant expense. And of course if you take in to account up to 70% energy savings, you’re likely to see the payback within 18 months too. It’s a win-win scenario.