After the winter we’ve had, and apparently continue to have, is it too much to ask for a little spring? And maybe a little consistency in the weather? I sound crotchety, complaining about something no one controls (OR DO THEY???) but it’s this time of year that I feel for anyone working in a sunless cubicle.
There’s really just no excuse for that anymore.
I used to think that making it to the cubicle farm was the goal. Think Working Girl, 1988, big hair, changing from your walking shoes to your pumps cubicles. A sea of sameness, everything in arms reach, and the executive offices rounding out the perimeter. Very structured, very orderly, very clear hierarchy. You knew who you were, and who you were wasn’t all that important.
When the tide changed and employees started demanding better accommodation, it wasn’t because they were being entitled jerks. It’s because craving access to natural light is inherently human. The UK blog Canifix says it very well: Exposure to natural light helps our bodies produce Vitamin D, improves our circadian rhythms and sleep patterns, helps us to focus, enables us to get more done, and even makes us happier. Ensuring we get enough of this vital resource is key to our physical and psychological wellbeing.
Our jobs increasingly demanded creativity and design thinking, even outside the design industry. Sunlight is critical to engaging those creativity cores in our brains, regulating emotion and improving cognitive function. For jobs centered on rote functions, or those that require repetitive process, it allows workers to access these benefits too. Whether your work is totally mobile, or absolutely not, say in a factory or on a retail sales floor, your work lighting should support your well being as well as illuminate your tasks.
Moving outside for your work is a totally valid option, but not one everyone can take advantage of. If your outdoor space at work is sad and unappealing, Haworth’s Janus et Cie lines can take care of that if a jiffy.
For the rest of us who must remain indoors, Haworth has created a very simple, straightforward Lighting Design Guide. It’s available free to download here. It’s presented in three core sections to upping your lighting game at work, and improving your general self: Lighting Basics, Lighting Applications, and Lighting Solutions. This guide goes as deep as you like, and ends with some practical, designedly lighting solutions that are easily applied in your workspace, for you, a whole team, a whole floor, or a whole building.
Everyone deserves to work with the good stuff, especially when we’re asking for the good stuff in return- best work comes from the best circumstances. So take a minute and ask your people about their lighting. Chances are no one ever has, and chances are it will mean a lot to them. Making lighting plan changes is a small investment, large reward and very visible gesture that you care about your team’s well being. We know you do; you should tell them too.
Mary Frances President + Ringmaster