Lighting For The Evolving Workplace

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Lighting the Evolving Workspace

The collaborative, open workspace is here to stay. Over the past few years, there has been a trend taking hold in the corporate work environment that has been shifting employees’ workspace from traditional cubicles and conference rooms to a more harmonious, flowing, and connected work setting.

Centering around the themes of enhanced productivity and community, these open-plan, activity-based workspaces are now being recognized as the foundation for any successful business.

However, it can be a lighting nightmare for the facility management team.

Imagine an open-style and dynamic workspace that is transient in nature. Employees come and go as they please. Desk sharing, communal workspaces, and breakout rooms are all part of this new commercial office culture.

As innovative as this is, the complexity of lighting such a space presents many challenges. How do you predict what work activities are going to take place in certain work spaces, and how many people will be using that space?

One of the biggest challenges is over-lighting a room. To compensate for the uncertainty in how to properly light an area, many companies flood a workspace with too much light which can actually be detrimental to both the productivity of the employees as well as energy costs.

Combination of Ambient and Task Lighting

A layered light design may be just the solution.

What does that look like exactly? Envision layering different sources of light together so they can complement each other and create a soft, pleasant, and comfortable work environment.

Consider pairing up low levels of ambient light with brighter task lighting. Not only will this help create ideal visual conditions for effective work spaces but it will also help lessen energy consumption.

Some companies using this approach have found a 50% reduction in their lighting energy costs as well as an overwhelming positive response from satisfied employees. It’s a win-win on all sides.

Allow More Natural Daylight

Gone are the days of glaring, cold work environments caused by harsh fluorescent lighting. Nowadays employees are yearning for more natural daylight to help light up their work space.

Besides the more obvious methods of larger windows and skylights, allowing more natural light to flow into the work environment is enhanced just by shifting to an open and evolving workspace. This simple shift allows companies to optimize more natural daylight throughout the year.

Like the combination of ambient and task lighting, taking advantage of natural light cultivates a healthier and happier work setting as well as a reduction in energy use and costs.

Advanced Lighting Controls

Superior lighting systems are an incredible asset for any innovative workspace. With the ability to adjust lighting through schedules, switches, and motion sensors, advanced lighting controls can help customize work environments based on the variable lighting needs of different work activities.

Perhaps more diffuse lighting is required for an intense strategy meeting in the communal space in the morning.

However, that same space demands more focused lighting for more individual task-oriented activities in the afternoon. All of this can be accomplished through intelligent lighting systems that cater to the needs of those using the work space.

By promoting a more satisfying and productive work environment as well as enjoying substantial energy savings, sophisticated lighting systems can go a long way in supporting the natural evolution of the workplace.

References:
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/3-top-facility-management-trends-watch-2018-neal-peters

https://www.buildings.com/article-details/articleid/16298/title/the-evolving-workspace-a-new-challenge-in-commercial-office-lighting

http://electricalindustry.ca/latest-news/824-the-evolving-workspace-putting-light-to-work-in-office-design

http://www.obj.ca/article/flux-sheds-light-evolving-workspace

https://products.currentbyge.com/sites/products.currentbyge.com/files/documents/document_file/GE-The-Evolving-Workspace-Whitepaper.pdf

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