Let There Be Light…and coffee

Proper lighting has a substantial impact on productivity, and, although the initial cost of a lighting renovation could seem daunting, the gains due to energy savings and- more importantly- productivity gains more than make up for the cost of the investment.

Take the following example: In the late 1980s, the lighting systems in the U.S. post office in Reno, Nevada were renovated to make them more worker friendly. The upgrade resulted in energy savings of about $50,000 per year, but the real improvements came in the form of employee productivity.

Mail sorters in the facility became the most productive sorters in the western half of the country, machine operators boasted the lowest error rates, and the financial impact of the productivity increase was expected to boost revenue by approximately $500,000 per year.

There’s substantial scientific proof that light levels directly affect our mind and body. Windowless offices and fluorescent lighting are prime suspects for low morale, depression and poor productivity. Our body-clock (or circadian rhythm, if you want to get technical) is designed to respond to bright, natural sunlight. Sunlight causes our body to release hormones at different times of day making us feel alert in the morning and sleepy at night. During normal office hours, your employees should be exposed to plenty of natural light. If this is not an option, invest in some ‘daylight lighting’, which mimics natural daylight by producing light at the same intensity and colour temperature. So open those office blinds and bask in the warmth of productivity.

On another note…we like the idea of coffee, especially quality fresh-ground Italian roast espresso. Here is the case for coffee and office productivity.

Many people start the day with a cup of tea or coffee to help them feel energized. Nearly 54 percent of adult Americans drink coffee every day and moderate use may help reduce the risk for Type 2 Diabetes.

To get the maximum benefits from any caffeinated drink, drink it later in the morning. According to a study by Steven Miller, a neuroscientistat the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., caffeine interacts with cortisol, a hormone the body produces that’s been correlated with alertness.

Cortisol production peaks between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. and drinking coffee during that time will have less of an impact because body is already producing a similar chemical and more coffee may be needed to feel an effect. “One of the key principles of pharmacology is use a drug when it is needed,” Miller told the Telegraph. “Otherwise, we can develop tolerance to a drug administered at the same dose.”

Instead, drink coffee between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to receive the best energy boost to help with focusing on the tasks ahead.

Partially sourced from our friends at Switch Advanced Lighting Solutions