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Product Innovation: Working with Daylight

In the midst of the pandemic, commercial spaces, offices in particular, have been greatly impacted by social distancing requirements. As we look to our future return to the workplace, adjusting to new health and safety restrictions will require innovative solutions to keep employees safe. 

Over the past six months, many of us have shifted to telecommuting – leaving our shared workplaces and commercial offices behind. This means we’ve been spending more time indoors and at home. It seems the consensus on telecommuting is split; some may be reluctant to give up the flexibility of a remote office, while others are eager to get back. Regardless of where you stand, one thing is certain: creating a safe workplace and keeping employees happy will be more important than ever. Our teams have been ideating on how light and shade and Legrand’s suite of products could help ease this transition.

If you ask employees what they want most from their workplaces, you might be surprised what you hear. Though employers are always upping their game when it comes to employee perks, a 2019 study from the Harvard Business Journal showed that comfortable light, temperature and a connection to the outdoors were all in the top five. All rely on shading. Upon returning to the workplace, ensuring employees have access to daylight will be crucial. With an automated shading system, you can give employees the access to daylight they desire. And even better, access to natural light has been shown to increase employee productivity.
On top of the benefits of daylight itself, an automated shading system removes the reliance on occupants to control their shades. By automating your shading and lighting control schedule, your employees can enjoy a completely touch-less system. They get all the perks of proper daylighting, without having to physically touch switches, shades, or user interfaces, reducing the spread of germs across shared office controls. Shading systems make use of daylight sensors to measure when it is time to lower or raise the shades. But they are not the only touch-less sensors that make sense in the office of the future. When it comes to reducing touch, occupancy sensors, automatic dimmers, timers and networked control systems are important to respond to changing interior light level needs. Facility managers should establish well vetted and researched lighting schedules based on occupant use of a space to reduce unnecessary touching. In this way, we can design healthy, smarter, commercial spaces unlike ever before.

And let’s not forget that new COVID restrictions affect more than just office inhabitants. Construction is still underway on many commercial buildings across the country, meaning people are on-site for installations while practicing social distancing. How can we help those installing our products? By making installations quicker and easier. Our Teleshade system installs in one third the time of competitors shades, thanks to our cassette-style system that easily snaps into place. Our Digital Lighting Management (DLM) wired solution installs 66% faster than our competitor's component sensors and dimmers, with less wires. Our wireless DLM solution is even faster! Easy installation means fewer installers needed, allowing for ample social distancing inside new buildings.
There’s no avoiding that changes will need to take place in the corporate office. Everyday occurrences, like switching on a light, may require a new solution. From installation to everyday operation, a proper daylighting system can help contribute to a safer workplace where employees can excel in a post-pandemic world.