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A multitudinous number of times have you heard tales of the Head of Human Resources waltzing through the office equipped with little more than an authoritative scowl and a clipboard, checking your desk is correctly positioned, your keyboard is easily operable, your chair is easy to swivel, and the risk of getting impaled by an ill-positioned biro is minimal.

In this litigious age, you never know when an employee might howl with a sudden case of RSI and call First4Lawers faster than you can say “small claims court”.

But when it comes to comfort in the office, lighting often tends to get a shorter shrift than that extra meeting or soul-sapping Powerpoint presentation.

Either the lights are on or there’s sufficient sunlight beaming through the windows. There’s light. You can see. What more do you want?

Enter stage left the importance of Lighting Ergonomics, which is really just as crucial as desk ergonomics and traditional health and safety.

Essentially referring to the relationship between the light source and the individual, lighting ergonomics is a way of combining the factors of optimal lighting and lighting technology to create an environment that is geared towards creating the best ambience possible.

Task Lights: A Good Solution

As well as ensuring you have the best all-round lighting to crack on with your daily desk-bound chores, it’s generally agreed that task lighting is one of the best solutions to this lighting dilemma.

Task lights are generally considered to be the most comprehensive and beneficial – they’re cost-effective, high quality, and, perhaps most importantly, can be easily repositioned to suit your specific lighting needs and accommodate any bespoke lighting requirements. They provide plentiful illumination, intensity, and direction.

Bulb-wise, incandescent lights are cheap but consume a lot of energy, but fluorescent and halogen, though a bit more expensive, are considerably more eco-friendly and last ten times longer so they’ll cost your company less in the long run.

CVS (Computer Vision Syndrome)

It’s estimated that approximately ninety per cent of people who work in front of a computer monitor for protracted periods of time suffered from CVS. And when you consider that symptoms run the gamut from dry eyes, eye strain, fatigue and double vision to irritation with the eyes and difficulty refocusing them, that tells you all you need to know when it comes to stressing the importance of making sure your workstation and your office is sufficiently and adequately lit.

Most jobs require a certain amount of repetition, and working in an office is no exception. In that sense, CVS is another form of RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) that won’t cause long-term damage providing you take sensible steps to prevent it, such as taking regular breaks.

Benficial For Everyone

No matter what your job, everyone needs to work in an environment that is appropriate, safe and conducive to doing the best work possible. Poor lighting can lead to low productivity, a higher number of mistakes, reduction in alertness, general apathy and low morale.

Ensuring that the lighting is ergonomically sufficient reduces the risk of all those things – so it’s a win-win situation for employee and employer, making for a congenial and productive working environment.

So the whole concept of lighting ergonomics stretches beyond ensuring the ceiling lights provide enough illumination –  it’s a combination of ambience, adaptability, well-being, health and comfort to  make sure an office space provides an amenable and productive place in which to work.

Have you got any ergonomically illuminating tips for the office?