How well lit is your workplace? Many offices are brightly lit, but not using the right light sources. Instead of using natural light for simple, productive and inexpensive illumination, they depend on costly, unproductive and unhealthy artificial light.
This is particularly true when you look at the interior of many large offices – desks and workspaces set at least 15 feet back from the edge of the building. Far from the windows, many of these interior workspaces are starved of natural light.
Luckily, bringing natural light to these often poorly-lit workspaces isn’t expensive, nor is it particularly difficult. In this blog post, we’ll share four methods that your business can use to light the interior of its office space more efficiently.
Install skylights and daylighting systems
If you work in a single-story building, you can significantly increase the amount of natural light in the interior of your workspace by installing a skylight. Skylights are inexpensive, durable and highly effective at making your workplace brighter.
Skylights are particularly helpful in large office buildings that occupy a lot of floor space but have few exterior windows. Instead of relying on the edges of your office building for natural light, your ceiling itself becomes a source of lighting.
Although skylights are ideal for single-story buildings, they’re largely off-limits for multi-story buildings. Likewise, businesses that rent their office space often aren’t allowed to install energy efficient daylighting due to their lease conditions.
Remove cubicles and other dividers
Is your office all boxed up and divided? Despite the growing popularity of the open office concept (and the numerous studies indicating it improved productivity), the majority of businesses still use a cubicle-style workstation layout.
This creates numerous barriers in your office that block out natural light. From the cubicle walls to internal offices and dividers, the obstacles in your office make it far more difficult for light to travel to internal workstations and areas.
Encourage natural light to flow throughout your office by removing cubicles and other dividers and switching to a more open layout. This allows light to flow into your office without obstacles or barriers, increasing work efficiency.
Use artificial lighting as a supplement
Many offices use natural light – which rises and faces in intensity throughout the day – as a supplement for their artificial lighting. A far more efficient way to light your office is to do the opposite: use artificial light to supplement natural light.
Using light detectors, you can adjust your artificial lighting automatically to keep your office’s ambient light level consistent throughout the day. As the sun sets and light levels fade, your artificial lighting system steps up to fill the gap.
This allows you to control the level of light carefully, especially in areas within your office that receive natural light only in the middle of the day. Supplement nature by using artificial light, instead of doing the opposite as many businesses do.
Keep ‘productivity centers’ near windows
From meeting spaces to workstations, the ‘productivity centers’ – desks, tables and other workstations – of your office should be situated around the edges, close to the main source of natural light.
Non-productive space – things such as copiers and design features – should be put further inward. This is the reverse of what many offices do, but it’s far more natural and efficient, particularly when it comes to increasing office productivity.
Position your workstations to avoid glare, but don’t be afraid to keep them close to the edges of your office. Naturally lit spaces is the most productive space you have available – for maximum efficiency and results, you need to use it wisely.