We all know lighting is an important element in serviced offices, but how do the different kinds of lighting combine to influence employee satisfaction in modern shared offices?
A recent study in Frontiers in Built Environment looked at satisfaction levels among employees in a newly retrofitted Seattle office block.
Workers in the refurbished offices were asked to rate their workplace in terms of how satisfied they were with it, both before and after the redecoration was carried out.
Lighting was one element of the survey, along with other environmental qualities like air quality, acoustics, workplace layout and size.
In particular, the researchers found that employees were generally happy with light levels, even when the overhead illumination was less bright than is usually recommended.
Putting employees in control of lighting
Part of the retrofit process involved giving employees more control over their lighting. Overhead lighting was replaced with remote control LED fixtures with adjustable colour and temperature capabilities.
Each employee also had task lighting so they could illuminate their own area without affecting their colleagues, and access to natural light where windows were not blocked by neighbouring buildings.
Interestingly, the study found four statistically significant improvements in satisfaction after the retrofit:
- Aesthetics of work area
- Amount of desktop lighting
- Amount of light for computer work
- Access to an outside view
This serves to underline how the visual appearance – including lighting and aesthetics – of a shared workplace can have a big impact on employee satisfaction.
Saving energy on office lighting
The study revealed results with useful implications for saving energy on office lighting. In particular, employees working with backlit computer displays did not need bright ambient lighting.
In fact, the workers in one of the offices surveyed specifically requested lower lighting levels from overhead.
At the same time, the researchers found the office managers used relatively dim overhead lighting – below the normal recommended light intensity – as part of efforts to save energy consumption.
Natural light is of course one way to illuminate shared and serviced offices without running up an electricity bill.
Individual task lighting, especially using energy-efficient LED bulbs, ensures employees can brighten their own work area when necessary, such as for paper work instead of screen time, again without unnecessary energy expenditure.
Light and bright serviced offices
Our own serviced offices in London and Manchester make good use of natural daylight whenever possible, with waterside locations and large windows for unobstructed views of the outside world.
At times artificial lighting is essential, especially in winter, so we take advantage of light, bright colour schemes that are easy to light from overhead or with task lighting.
And when your employees need to take a break from the office – for example, to look at something other than a backlit computer screen – we provide comfortable breakout rooms and easy access to outside spaces for a refreshing walk.
Finally, we allow our tenants to add their own branding and colour schemes to the serviced office space they occupy – so if you want to put your own stamp on your space, just let us know.