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As the COVID-19 lockdown continues, many of us are still working at home, and a large proportion of us are working in temporary workspaces that we constructed in a rush when the lockdown began.
Hopefully, you’ve managed to source a table or work surface, or you’ve at least discovered your favourite space on the sofa to work at, but how’s the lighting? Although you may not be working in an official ‘office’ right now, it’s still vital to consider the environment around you and how conducive it is to working.
Good lighting helps create a more comfortable and productive workspace. Poor lighting, on the other hand, can cause stress, eyestrain, fatigue and ultimately impair your ability to work effectively.
Here are some simple tips to make sure the light in your home workspace keeps you calm and focused:
Sit by a window if you can
Research has shown time and time again that exposure to natural light in an office increases productivity, health and overall wellbeing.
Just make sure to avoid direct sunlight that creates overwhelming glare during certain times of the day.
To accommodate varying levels of brightness during the day, solar shades, blinds or even a standing screen can be used to soften glare and reduce heat without compromising the light and view.
Top tip: Placing your desk by the window gives you the added benefit of being able to look into the distance at the view outside, which is great because regular screen breaks help to prevent eye strain.
Choose the right type of artificial light
If you don’t have a lot of natural light, then it’s vital to consider the different ways you can optimise how your working space is illuminated. Whether it’s the sofa or a dedicated office in your home, your workspace will undoubtedly have some ambient lighting that includes overhead or recessed lights, but these aren’t really sufficient on their own, and it’s necessary to add additional sources.
This is where a little consideration is crucial, as different light types create different moods.
Mellow lighting promotes calm. Look for ways to diffuse the ambient light with lampshades or use an upward-shining floor lamp which bounces the light off walls and ceilings.
On the other hand, articulated lighting promotes concentration. For computer work, filing and other focus-intensive tasks, a well-defined light source trained directly on what you are doing minimises environmental distractions and keeps your eyes on the task at hand.
Finally, you should always consider the direction your light is coming from. If you’re working at a computer, light coming from behind you will create an annoying glare on your monitor. Likewise, look out for unintended shadows cast by lamps. For instance, if you write with your right hand, your hand and arm will cast a shadow if the lamp is also situated on the right.
This news was brought to you by Morgan Pryce, a specialist tenant acquisition agent with offices in Oxford Circus and the City. Morgan Pryce specialises in search, negotiation and project management and works exclusively for tenants.