Creating a comfortable and healthy work environment encourages productivity among employees. Providing adequate lighting is an important part of creating a comfortable work environment. While fluorescent lighting has been a popular light source in office buildings for the last several decades, fluorescent lighting is not always adequate for the needs of office workers. Understanding why workers respond better to a particular type of light source can help you ensure that the lighting in your building meets the needs of your employees.
How Bodies Respond to Light
The sun produces a full spectrum of light. Exposure to sunlight triggers a cycle in the human body. This cycle, known as circadian rhythm, tells people when to go to sleep and when to wake. Exposure to full spectrum light can also regulate hormones, which in turn can help people stay healthy. Without sufficient exposure to the full spectrum of light, hormones can become imbalanced and health problems can follow.
Traditional fluorescent lights cover a limited range on the spectrum. Exposure to too much fluorescent light in the office can disrupt circadian rhythms.
What You Can Do as an Employer
While fluorescent lighting is the standard for office buildings across the country, there are ways to ensure that your employees are exposed to adequate amounts of full-spectrum light.
- Install full spectrum fluorescent lights. Full-spectrum fluorescent lights have a warmer, more hospitable glow than standard fluorescent lights. Full-spectrum fluorescents also ensure that employees get the light they need to regulate their internal cycles.
- Rely on natural lighting. Natural light from windows and skylights makes office spaces more beautiful and can also help your employees get a healthy dose of natural sunshine.
- Hold events outside. Holding office-wide staff events outdoors can help ensure your employees get exposure to sunlight.
- Encourage employees to spend time outside. Devising a wellness campaign that encourages employees to spend time outside can ensure that your employees get sufficient light to be healthy. There are many ways that you can encourage your employees to spend time outside. Arranging for walking meetings, forming employee exercise groups, and coordinating wellness challenges can all increase the amount of time that your employees spend time outdoors.
- Allow employees to use incandescent lights at their work stations. Letting employees use lamps at their desk ensures that your employees will get exposure to a larger range of light while at work.
- Provide extra breaks throughout the day to spend time outside. Giving employees dedicated time to spend outside can help make up for lighting problems inside the office.
HealthyWorks Can Help
If you’re currently struggling to develop your company’s wellness program or need help creating a healthy, safe work environment, HealthyWorks can help. We offer wellness services to companies in need. To get started, call us today at (412) 877-6834.