As Stress Awareness Month draws to a close, it’s important to remember that companies can play a key role in reducing employees stress through more ‘human-centric’ approaches to office design. Here at Greenlite Group, we asked our own expert, the Lighting Doctor, to explain how lighting can help create a stress-free working environment.
Time and again, research has shown that integrating biophilic design into office environments has a positive impact on employees, including reducing stress.
Biophilia was first popularised by Edward O. Wilson in 1984. It describes the relationship between humans and nature. The concept is that we have a basic need to be continuously connected with nature in the environment in which we live and work every day. As part of this, exposure to natural light is hugely beneficial.
Let there be light
For office workers it is particularly important to have full control of your senses, particularly sight. Having control of what we see can be significantly enhanced by good lighting. The consequences of poor lighting has a detrimental impact on employees. Yet, despite this, research has found that 47% of workplaces fail to provide enough natural light.
The impact of exposure to artificial or poor lighting conditions has been scientifically proven; if our cortisol levels drop it can mean we are more stressed. And if employees are stressed, their productivity inevitably drops.
On the flip side, respondents to the Human Spaces Global Reportwho worked in environments with natural elements reported a 15% higher level of wellbeing, a 6% higher level of productivity and a 15% higher level of creativity. So it certainly pays to invest in good lighting.
In an ideal world, all office spaces would be flooded with natural light. But in reality, our buildings don’t always allow this. However, with modern LED systems we can harness the power of light and use it to promote our wellbeing and reduce stress.
Human centric LED systems provide a great way to tailor lighting, and can be adjusted in colour and intensity with a flexibility that means it can support our changing needs throughout the day, lowering stress levels in the process.
Our message to businesses is that there has never been a better time to address how we can change our office environments to improve wellbeing. Whilst it may seem expensive, LED lighting can be fitted in both modern and old buildings with minimal fuss – and the energy savings made will quickly deliver a return on the initial investment. And by having the right levels of lighting, it could go a long way to helping reduce employee stress levels. And, that’s good news for every one!