Lighting is unlikely to be at the forefront of our mind in the workplace – it’s often the first thing placed in an office fit out and the last thing to be changed. However, straining your sight through bright overhead lights or glare from computer screens can cause an array of problems that we don’t immediately associate with our eyesight.
It’s estimated that around 85% of the information that we take in is through our eyes alone, so protecting it is crucial.
Poor lighting can contribute to an array of health problems, such as losing our ability to focus through eyestrain, fatigue and headaches. Between 64% and 90% of the UK population are affected by such health problems caused by prolonged exposure to computer screens.
However, it isn’t just health that’s affected by bad lighting in an office environment, staff morale also plummets. A report by HSE shows that giving workers in open plan offices local control of lighting can increase their job satisfaction and decrease their stress levels.
Here are some suggestions on how to update the lighting in your office to ensure you have a long and happy business.
HSE recommend implementing gradual lighting where possible. Sudden contrasts in light levels (coming out of a well-lit area into a dark room or vice versa) can cause problems because it takes the eyes several seconds to adapt.
Contact a company who are experts in lighting and office refurbishments to see if they can make gradual lighting possible.
Allowing your staff to operate the lighting in the space where they work will make for happy eyes and happy workers. Consider installing dimmer switches to change the level of light throughout the day and prevent computer glare.
There are also several savings associated with this method. By reducing your overhead lights from 500 to 300 lux and lowering light in areas such as storage rooms, you could save a great deal.
If you’re working at a computer for a prolonged period of time, this trick is a good way to rest the eye muscles. Every 20 minutes, focus on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
A simple solution for preventing an array of eye problems is adjusting the brightness and contrast levels on your computer. Encourage staff to alter the levels throughout the day for optimum results.
Workers who are sat next to windows will be the most at risk from computer glare. This is because sunlight can shine on the monitor and wash out the colour, resulting in difficulty seeing what’s on there. To avoid this, make sure you have the option of blinds for your staff to close, should they need to throughout the day.
If you want to ensure that your staff morale remains high and health problems stay low, Officescape will be able to help with any of your design needs.
For more information, contact us on +44 (0)1553 811 833 and a member of our expert team will be happy to help.