European office workers want better lighting, research shows

Results from a Europe-wide survey reveal that current lighting in the workplace is not satisfying end-users and their needs, while at the same time having a big impact on productivity and human wellbeing.

The survey, conducted as part of the Repro-light project, polled 1,100 workers across Germany, Spain, Italy and Austria. Participants were asked to consider their working environment’s lighting and what changes they would like to see that could improve their productivity, mood, and performance.

More than half of respondents (56 percent) said they would like better workplace lighting. The survey also showed that individual requirements for the lighting differ, suggesting that personalisable lighting is needed to satisfy all the users.

The results go on to show that women significantly more often encouraged an improvement in workplace lighting, while workers over 50 showed a greater desire for an improvement in lighting.

It is not only the need for improved light: more than half said that the physical luminaire aesthetics where important to them, especially workers under 30. Some 80 percent of those questioned would like to have workplace lighting which automatically adapts to personal needs, with over 75 percent wanting their work light to change colour when it turns dark outside.

All of these factors play a role in the greater impact of lighting on the workforce. Not surprisingly, more than 90 percent of those asked said they believe their work lighting can impact their mood; 87 percent said it affects their performance; and 92 percent said it influences their vigilance in the work place.

The Repro-light project, part of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 work programme, will now be moving into the next phases of investigation and design iteration to develop a ‘Luminaire of the Future’ that will endeavour to meet all the user needs discovered in the survey.

Download the full report here.

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