Neither industry nor academia have fully converged a prescriptive approach for circadian lighting. A considerable amount of ongoing research is being conducted to identify how different intensities and colors affect people at a neurological level. It has been proven that adjusting office lighting to simulate changes in outdoor sunlight levels, based on the time of day, can enhance worker productivity. Both daylight, courtesy of Earth’s 24-hour light–dark cycle, and electric light can drive the human circadian system, internal clocks that regulate daily behaviors and the timing of biological processes, such as the release of the hormones melatonin and cortisol, which help control blood sugar and affect energy levels.
In August 2019, the University of Oregon published a whitepaper, “The Impact of Lighting and Views in the Workplace of the Future.” The paper concludes that daylighted spaces with controlled lighting and views can improve occupant well-being, workplace productivity, and satisfaction by positively influencing various physiological and psychological processes. The researchers concluded, “lighting and views also impact property value and employee recruitment and retention.”
However intangible, the lighting solution that supports this office is seen as an advantage for Michael Best, since happier employees are more productive and more likely to stay in an organization. Anecdotal evidence shows employees are more comfortable based on their personal preferences.
This project demonstrates that light impacts people, and office space that is designed around the users of the space, rather than the space itself, can be a strategic asset. By getting the lighting right, it has become an environment everyone wants to spend time in.