Maintaining a balanced temperature in an office for all employees is one of the most difficult tasks in a workplace, largely because every individual in your workforce will all be affected by temperature in different ways. This is because many factors influence the way a person reacts to temperature, including their gender, metabolic rate, and the clothing they are wearing. It is also important to note that office workers are stationary sitting at their desks for long periods of time, causing some to start feeling cold. For this reason, it is usual to hear constant complaints from various members of staff regarding the temperature in the room.
If this all sounds very familiar to you, you may well be fed up of the constant efforts of trying to achieve the optimum temperature in the room. However, your employees are actually correct in thinking that it is an important issue. In fact, research suggests that the temperature in an office can be a highly significant factor in the efficiency of your staff, including their productivity when at work, and the amount of sick days they take; clearly two major factors influencing the success of your workplace.
Although this is a difficult task, it is highly worth investing in temperature control solutions, as it could mean the difference between a productive workforce and your employees becoming distracted and inefficient.
Temperature and levels of productivity
We all know the familiar complaint about office temperature, and research suggests the same; 80% of employees admit to moaning about the temperature in the office. Whilst this may appear to be a minimal issue on first glance, an unsatisfied employee is unlikely to be a productive one.
A survey has found that nearly 30% of employees spend between 10 and 30 minutes not working because of uncomfortable working conditions, and 6% report to spend over 30 minutes not working for the same reason. These figures may sound slight on initial consideration, but over a long time frame, this amount of wasted time is likely to end up costing your company a lot of money.
Research suggests that a temperature between 21 and 23 degrees Celsius is the optimum temperature in most offices, however, it is wise to also take other factors into consideration regarding the temperature, such as the average age of your employees, the gender of most of your workforce, and the humidity in the atmosphere. As a guideline, men generally feel hotter, whereas women feel colder, and people over the age of 55 are likely to feel the cold more.
Temperature and employee health
Not only is it important for your employees to be healthy at work to remain productive, but it has also been found that employee absences for illnesses cost UK businesses over £30 billion a year. The temperature of an office can have a direct effect on the health of your employees, so by maintaining a good temperature, you can limit the number of sick days your workforce take.
An employee who feels too hot in their work environment can suffer from heat stress, which can lead to feelings of exhaustion meaning a lack of productivity and dehydration, whereas those who feel that the temperature of their workplace is too cold or fluctuating are more susceptible to contracting illnesses such as a cold, the flu or a bug.
The humidity levels of an office can also have a substantial impact on the health of your employees. Humidity levels below 20% can cause a dry atmosphere leading to discomfort, such as dry skin. However, an office environment with a high level of humidity over 70% can lead to mould and fungi growing in the workplace, which can also lead to health problems.
What can be done to maintain a balanced office temperature?
It can be a difficult task to maintain a temperature which is comfortable for everyone, however, it is an extremely important factor for employees to feel satisfied in their working environment. What’s more, if your employees are happy, you will be too with regards to the work they achieve and their attendance.
One of the most important factors regarding maintaining a good temperature is to ensure that the temperature in an office is consistent. This is because people feel temperatures most when they experience a change. An example is that a hot bath will feel hotter if a person has just been outside in cold weather than if they were already warm inside.
In order to maintain a consistent temperature, an office premise can be designed particularly for this purpose with insulative features, such as windows and doors, flooring, as well as designing the overall office layout to retain heat. Not only this, but the way your office is designed can also mean more efficiency in terms of your energy bills and the efficiency of your heating and air conditioning, making for a more cost-effective office.
If you need any help or advice on designing your office to ensure an optimum temperature is maintained, contact us at Manor Interiors; our highly professional and friendly office design experts will be able to offer you the perfect solution.