Colin Lawson, Tamlite Lighting’s Head of Market Intelligence, explores how smarter lighting can help meet the changing needs of the workplace.
There’s no denying that the commercial property sector is undergoing a period of change as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the death of the office shouldn’t be exaggerated.
Whilst employees’ working habits are changing, they still have a strong desire to spend time in the office. This idea is supported by the latest data from the British Council for Offices (BCO). It shows almost half of workers – 46% – intend on splitting their time between their home and the office.
There’s no clear roadmap for welcoming employees back, and the challenges of returning to the office faced by larger corporations and small businesses will differ. Yet both will face reduced occupancy levels. Business owners and building managers will be keen to create pleasant office spaces that encourage people back into the workplace. As a result, there will be greater expectations about the working environment and the building systems that serve them.
Lighting remains one of the most fundamental of these; whether it’s a large office complex or small business studio, having the correct light will make a big difference to employees. From an electrician’s perspective, there’s a clear opportunity to talk to your customers about how you can help them prepare for the ‘new’ normal, and create comfortable, productive and safe office environments.
Here’s a few ways that lighting can make a difference:
Make the switch
Sadly, not all businesses are yet aware of the benefits of LED lighting. So there’s an important opportunity to steer companies towards replacing outdated fluorescent lighting with the latest LED-based solutions. This will help eliminate glare and improve comfort in the office.
Health and wellbeing
Businesses are increasingly looking at how they can enhance their workspace for the benefit of employees. Offices designed with a more ‘human-centric’ approach to lighting can make them healthier, safer and happier places. Installing lighting that can be tuned to work in harmony with workers can help improve their overall wellbeing by reducing stress and anxiety, increasing productivity and profitability.
With fewer people using the office space available, businesses will want to make sure that lighting is only used when it’s needed. Lighting control systems add a level of flexibility that is vital in modern offices. For example, installing PIR sensors will ensure that the lights aren’t used when the room is unoccupied by dimming or switching off the fittings.
Make the most of natural light
Natural light is the most important type in any office. Daylight dimming reduces the output of the luminaires when natural light levels increase. Not only does this ensure that lights are only used when they’re required but also provides a more organic lighting design. This ensures that energy isn’t wasted, providing significant long-term energy savings.
Installing controls and sensors will allow businesses to make informed decisions about how their office space is being used, and make changes to lighting schedules and settings. This can dramatically reduce energy consumption as the lights are only on when needed.
Re-thinking how we talk about light to our customers is key, and it’s not as complicated as it seems. With an ever-growing focus on improving the office-based worker experience, the needs of end-users in this area can be achieved through the power of smarter lighting.
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