Workplace: Light

During these days of less sunlight and more darkness, light is an important part of the day. Light in our environment; light in our messages; light in our hopeful thoughts for the new year.

Light is necessary for work accomplishment as well as for health. Co-workers and family members alike find that using a light designed for seasonal affective disorder (SAD) helps them survive the winter months with more cheer and good health. For these individuals, the lack of sunlight diminishes their well-being. Adding light in the morning and throughout the day improves overall health and attitudes for people with SAD.

Light is necessary in every work environment. To see what we are doing. For computer monitors to show us what we want to see. For quality control of what we are doing. For the safety of our office and manufacturing environments. And light contributes to attitudes and moods in ways that are sometimes overlooked. Too bright – and we can get exhausted. Too dark – and we can become stressed. Each person needs a slightly different light level to accomplish work. Explore what your best light level is: overhead only; task lighting only; or a combination of the two.

Lightboxes are found in creative design organizations, shining light for images that need detailed viewing. Lighthouses are centuries old and still provide signals for safety along shorelines near and far. Light meters provide photographers with information for getting a great shot.

Technology and design workers using computer screens all day tend to keep room light low. While this makes sense for the people in the space, a newcomer may feel uncomfortable in the low light. For instance, upon entering an executive office for a meeting, I found it odd and a bit unsettling that the room lights were not on and only the computer monitor lights were illuminating the room – it felt rather like a meeting-by-candlelight. Recommendation: when others come into your workspace for a conversation or a meeting, consider turning on the room lights in order to create a sense of comfort and safety for others.

As kids we learn that even the tiniest candle flame can light a space in such a way that darkness is vanquished. A flashlight can bring comfort in the middle of darkness. A nightlight can too – in addition to lighting the way to the bathroom for midnight trips. And a spotlight can create joy or nervousness – or both.

What light are you bringing into 2020? What light are you hoping to find in 2020? Make your workplace and your life – bright and light!

Workplace: Managing the moments of our day-to-day business lives takes work. Together, let’s explore    what issues and activities affect us every day (or some days) that we go to work. – Jana

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