No surprise here – research shows that employees perform better and are happier with brighter lighting and access to nature, while retailers are increasingly investing in workforce management tech to deliver better experiences for both employees and customers.
This is your brain on dim light
Research from Michigan State University has found that working in dim light has negative effects on the brain. To quote psychology professor and study co-investigator Antonio Nunez, “Dim lights are producing dimwits.”
MSU researchers studied brains of Nile grass rats, exposing them to dim light and bright light for four weeks. They found that in dimmer light, there was a reduction in the peptide that helps maintain the healthy connections that let brain neurons “talk” to each other.
In MSU Today, Nunez added, “When we exposed the rats to dim light, mimicking the cloudy days of Midwestern winters or typical indoor lighting, the animals showed impairments in spatial learning.”
“While the research was carried out on rats, it suggests that the design of the spaces we inhabit has a direct impact on the way that we think… That means that designing offices so they have a large amount of natural light isn’t just a nice perk for workers. It’s a necessity for people to be their most productive and healthiest selves.”
Help employees get happy by getting closer to nature
On a related note, FastCompany also recently provided this helpful tidbit: new research from King’s College London (published in January’s BioScience) found that a key mood-booster for indoor and office workers is exposure to nature – even for short periods of time.
The connection between green space and increased productivity and wellness isn’t new. But with green space increasingly becoming a standard consideration in office space design, it makes sense to regularly encourage employees to get outside, or add some greenery to the office environment. For inspiration (or aspiration), check out Amazon’s recently-opened Spheres, or Vietnam tourism company Evolable.
More retailers are transforming their ops with technology
David’s Bridal is a recent example of a retailer that is adopting workforce management (WFM) software – Ceridian’s own Dayforce, in fact. We heard at The National Retail Federation’s Retail’s Big Show 2018 that retailers are focusing on transforming customer experience. Research has shown that an engaged workforce is key to better customer experience. But to provide that stellar CX, employers need to invest in employee experience, and ways to optimize their current workforce.
An underlying theme at the Big Show was that large retailers are looking to be more strategic with workforce performance and planning, to make better, data-driven decisions about their businesses in the short- and long-term. In an increasingly competitive landscape, retailers are paying more attention to increasing productivity and optimizing their workforces. More retailers are turning to workforce management (WFM) software to address the needs of their retail employees, from flexibility, mobility and training on the go to easy scheduling and performance monitoring. A key benefit for retail employers who manage their workforces within a labor model or with financial targets is that WFM lets them generate forecasts or metrics that work with their model. This approach lets them make better and more guided decisions.