To Increase Worker Productivity, Change Your Lightbulbs?
Every little thing can affect how much people get done during a day, including their physical comfort. Lighting, temperature, seating—it all matters. Here are a few small steps you can take to help workers get more done by helping them feel like getting more done:
1. Warm up the lighting. Research has shown that working under light with a high color temperature (less blue) correlates to more mental acuity, less drowsiness, and improved concentration. Many fluorescent light sources give off quite a cool glow. Incandescent bulbs give off warmer light, but aren’t nearly as energy efficient. But there are some compact florescent bulbs that combine energy efficiency with a warmer color temperature.
2. Get some plants. Some studies indicate contact with nature—even in small doses—has a restorative influence. If you have a window that looks out on a green area, that’s great. If not, indoor plants can have a beneficial effect. Even desktop fountains and nature posters trigger emotional benefits that can translate into more productivity.
3. Change the seating. Aches and pains aren’t good for productivity. Combining a highly adjustable chair with a little ergonomics training has been proven to reduce musculoskeletal aches and pains, thus helping workers get more done. Look for chairs with adjustable armrests, adjustable height, adjustable firmness support in the lower back, adjustable seat depth and a gliding mechanism that lets the user glide forward as he reclines. The Herman Miller chairs are great examples.
4. Turn down the heat. There has been quite a lot of research into the effect of ambient temperature on productivity. The general consensus is that temperatures within a comfort zone of about 71ºF to 79ºF are best. What’s probably most effective is to maintain an ambient temperature within the lower part of that comfort zone. It’s OK for people to feel a little cool, so long as they are not uncomfortable.