How Office Lighting Affects Productivity


There is a wide range of factors that can impact the productivity of employees at work. However, in recent years a lot of employers tend to overlook office space lighting. According to recent studies lighting in the office can have a negative or positive effect on the general productivity of the human resource and the performance of each individual in the company. A research by the American Society of Interior Design discovered that at least 68% of all employees in the United States are not okay with the lighting in the offices they work in. The basic principle in effective lighting in the office is moderation, not too dim and not too bright.

The Disadvantages of Bad Office Lighting

Ineffective lighting in the office has a number of drawbacks all of which affect the ultimate performance of employees. The following are some of the common disadvantages of bad lighting:

Eye strain – Bad lit offices often cause eye strain which in most cases can turn to be painful and uncomfortable. In the end, this will limit concentration levels significantly leading to reduced performance levels among employees.

Bad lighting leads to drowsiness and boredom – Bad lighting can also lead to drowsiness and boredom in the office space. Consequently this will lead to lack of focus and ultimately reduced performance among individual employees. Drowsiness and boredom may also negatively impact employee motivation and morale.

Headaches – Poor lighting has been known to cause headaches. In the office, such headaches lead to discomfort which in turn plays a critical role in reducing the overall performance of employees. In addition to this, headaches may require employees to take unnecessary leave which reduce the overall productivity substantially. A research conducted by the head of the International Commission on Illumination Wout Van Bommel confirms that people experience headaches from light ripple of fluorescent lamps which are the commonly used lighting options in the office.

The Benefits of Quality Lighting At the Office

The most important priority in office interior design is to actually promote a sense of comfort and ease among employees. Lighting is an important aspect of office interior décor. The following are some of the benefits of a well-lit office.

Enhances the employee’s mood – Quality lighting can help enhance employees mood substantially. This will in turn promote motivation and high performance among staff members in the company.

Comfort – Well-lit offices are easy to work in and serves to promote better comfort among employees. Comfortable employees on the other hand worked at maximum capacity and their performance levels are always very high. Ultimately, this will impact positively to the overall productivity of the company.

Reduced fatigue – Quality lighting is also an important factor in reducing fatigue at the workplace. Well-lit offices provide an ideal working environment that allows employees to perform their tasks without straining too much. This is crucial in promoting higher performance levels impacting positively the overall company productivity in the process.

The Best Lighting Options in Offices

For many employers getting the best lighting option in the office is actually easier said than done. The most ideal option is natural light but in cases where it’s not applicable, the following attributes should always characterize the type of lighting chosen.

Temperature – Different lighting lamps generate different levels of temperature. It is advisable to choose a lamp that generates minimal or no temperature. This will promote employee productivity in the long run.

Brightness – the rule of the thump in office lighting is moderation. Always go for something not too bright or not too dim. Illumination is also an important factor to consider and it is advisable to do preliminary tests on the impact of the lighting system on employees before fully implementing it.
Wall and surface color – the colors of the wall and the surface in the office can also influence the lighting. Considering this fact, it is important for employers to choose lighting systems that collaborate with the surface colors so that the illumination is not too bright or perhaps too dim.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Flickers– Flicking lamps or lights are exclusively not designed for the office and should be avoided at all cost. Flickers can affect concentration and may also lead to severe eye strain among employees.

Lack of uniformity – Lighting in the office must be uniform such that, every square meter gets an equal share of the light. Employers are advised to repair broken lamps in cases where their offices use more than one lamp.

Too much light – conventionally most employers tend to go for fluorescent bulbs which to be fair have too much light. The truth is too much light is not always the solution and in most cases it tends to negatively affect the performance of employees.


Office lighting is an important factor of employees’ productivity. It is therefore the responsibility of each and every employer to make sure that the office is well lit and comfortable for everyone working in it.

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