To all of us who have experienced working in an office, we know the direct effect of room temperature on our productivity.
Studies suggest that the most ideal temperature that will result in optimal productivity is somewhere in between 70 to 73 degrees Fahrenheit, or around 21 to 23 degrees Celsius. Room temperature hotter than this will make it difficult for workers and employees to concentrate on their tasks because perspiration causes a lot of discomfort. Heat also increases dehydration and the chances of fainting. On the other hand, a very cold office will have one shivering more than he or she could focus on work.
Moreover, not only will a too hot or too chilly workplace have an impact on health, it also affects company morale.
Too hot, too cold?
While most employers resort to shutting off the office air conditioners an hour before closing time to cut on costs, it might be better to consider the workers’ overall well-being in exchange for better work results.
Cornell University conducted an experiment to test this claim. They performed the test in the Insurance Office of America located in Orlando, Florida. After dropping the room temperature to produce a chilly environment, they noticed that workers were more prone to committing errors and this potentially increased their hourly labor pay by about 10%. Some workers also complained that their fingers were too cold and stiff that it became hard for them to type on their keyboards or write manual reports.
When the researchers set the thermostat to the ideal room temperature, they were pleased to know that typing errors fell by as much as 44% and the overall output turnout increased by an incredible 150%.
“Raising the temperature to a more comfortable thermal zone saves employers about $2 per worker, per hour,” says Alan Hedge, the experiment’s research supervisor at Cornell University. Hedge teaches subjects that focus on environmental analysis and responsive design to attain ideal work conditions in any given location.
Additionally, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration released regulations in lieu of ideal workplace temperature and humidity. They advise offices to observe recommended room temperatures from 68 degrees to 76 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity indoors should be anywhere from 20% to 60% only.
How can you make it better?
Another challenge to setting the appropriate temperature inside offices is that different individuals have varying thresholds for what they deem to be too hot or too cold to properly function. However, all offices should aim to arrive at a consensus because finding a comfortable common ground will help achieve greater productivity and boost team morale.
Here are some suggestions that could help you set the office temperature just right:
- Discuss the temperature issue with each and everyone at work. Don’t just change the HVAC settings without telling everyone because this will be noticed no matter what. Avoid causing spite or starting grudges with your staff. Be open. Communicate. Agree on a setting that will more or less suit everyone.
- Advocate proper office attires. Encourage dressing up in layered outfits if the office is always a little too cold; or allow lighter garments if you work in warmer climate.
- Adjust to the seasons. When the climate becomes too hot or too cold to arrive in the workplace at the intended hour, consider adjusting the schedule. You can also provide a certain leeway or time allowance to give all the employees enough time to prepare and arrive at the office in good spirits.
- Subject your air conditioners and heaters to regular check-ups. This process should be non-negotiable for all workplaces because of the correlation of room temperature to a worker’s productivity. Do not risk the possibility of an HVAC breakdown in the middle of the workweek. A hot room can produce more hot heads. Meanwhile, a cold room can make everyone sleepy and sluggish.
If you need professional attention and servicing for your office’s HVAC units, consult no other than the trained and licensed experts at Level One HVAC. Let us help your company keep productivity rates high by keeping heads cools and employee interactions warm. Visit www.levelonehvac.com for more details, fill out our Contact Form, or give us a call at 248-486-6500.