As many workers gradually make their return to the office environment, what has become clear is that employers have had to reimagine the role of the office in the lives of their employees. A crucial part of reintegrating employees into the office environments is to safeguard their mental health and office design and fit out is an integral part of this process. Anthony Parkinson, Technical Manager at Ansell Lighting, looks at the importance and the positive impact smart lighting can have on health and wellbeing.
Unless budgets are endless, after an extremely testing trading period for many businesses, full office fit outs are unlikely, so for many employers the strategy will be focusing on smaller, tactical solutions that can have a positive impact. Step forward Smart lighting, a ‘tactical’ and affordable solution that has a hugely important role to play in the workplace. With no need for wiring and utilising WiFi and Bluetooth technology, smart lighting is a cost effective way to ‘fit out’ an office and introduce smart technology to enhance the working environment.
The commercial office landscape has potentially changed forever, with more employers embracing flexible working. The result? Not every office space will be occupied all the time and, if it is, it is unlikely to be at full capacity. Enabling lighting systems to be automated and well planned, the functionality offered by smart lighting is in tune with those changing needs. The technology offers businesses optimum control over energy use and with that, can offer huge cost saving benefits.
One of the key benefits of automated systems such as OCTO is that it offers facilities managers complete control over lighting settings, such as the output level, colour temperature and the different combinations of lamps in use, can all be fixed according to specific requirements.
Fit out costs and energy savings aside, when used properly, another major benefit of smart lighting is the huge positive impact it can have on the health and wellbeing of employees in the workplace.
Light is one of the biggest influences on circadian rhythm experienced by humans. In nature, daylight changes from a warm colour in the morning, to blue during the day and then back to a warmer hue in the evening which prompts the body into knowing when it should feel awake and energised or more relaxed and ready to sleep. Exposure to the wrong lights at the wrong time of day can play havoc with this natural rhythm.
Traditionally, lighting systems have been limited to perform at one level but thanks to the development of smart lighting, it is now possible to mimic the pattern of natural lighting inside, enhancing health and wellbeing.
Different colour settings used in conjunction with smart lighting systems such as OCTO, luminaires can be set to emit changing colour temperatures at different times of day. By imitating natural lighting patterns, employees can benefit from feeling more focussed and energised, resulting in happier, healthier staff with improved productivity.
For the employer looking to create a positive transition from home working back to the commercial office space, smart lighting presents an affordable fit out and easy tactical solution which can have a real impact on the mood, productivity and wellbeing of its workforce.