RTW/SAW Showcase: Lighting Can Help or Hinder Employee Productivity

Jai Hooker@Work

Flipping the Switch: Lighting Can Help or Hinder Employee Productivity

By Greg Bullock, Director, Medical Relationships, TheraSpecs

Lighting can have a big effect on employee health and performance — especially for people who are sensitive to light — and can cost employers billions of dollars. There are many causes and triggers of light sensitivity, which affects the job performance of up to 90% of employees.1


Millions of people around the globe are extremely sensitive to light or have photophobia.2 Light sensitivity is most commonly associated with migraine and headache disorders, dry eye, and the acute and long-term effects of concussions and traumatic brain injuries. However, it is a symptom of dozens of other medical conditions too. Light-sensitive persons can experience painful responses to normal lighting, and some light sources can even trigger symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and dizziness.

Even without a medical diagnosis, a person can be negatively affected by light. People with healthy eyes and brains still routinely experience eye strain, dry eyes, and headaches from screen use and fluorescent and/or LED lighting. As a result, more employers are seeking ways to mitigate issues through accommodations.

Effects on the Workplace

Light sensitivity can affect every aspect of people’s lives, including their availability for and performance at their jobs. With millions of people dealing with this issue, lighting in the workplace becomes a central concern for many employees. Here are just a few statistics underscoring the widespread impact of light sensitivity on working individuals:

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