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How Important is Lighting in Your Workspace?

Take charge of your mood by upping the wattage.

“You can actually predict how satisfied people in a workspace are just by the amount of sunlight that enters the space,” says Ron Friedman, Ph.D., author of The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace. And when you’re situated near a window—whether you’re looking at a peaceful garden or a brick building— research shows you’ll be significantly happier, more engaged, and, ultimately, more productive.

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But if you’re marooned in fluorescent-lit cubeland, don’t despair. According to Michael “Dr. Woody” Woodward, Ph.D., an organizational psychologist and executive coach, you can fight that anxiety-inducing ultrabright light by putting a lamp on your desk and installing a Philips Hue bulb ($60,, a unique adjustable light bulb.

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With the Hue, “you can control the color schemes and light intensity all from your phone,” says Woodward, “and change them based on what you’re doing. For example, when I’m reading, I’ll use the concentration setting, with its cooler blueish colors; if I’m just taking a breather, I’ll use the relaxed setting, which is almost red.”

And with your new powers, you’ll find that not just your mood has improved. “Research shows that employees who have control over their own lighting report less fatigue during the workday,” says Woodward.


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