How Office Temperatures Can Affect Workplace Productivity

Have you ever experienced feeling sluggish when your workplace is too hot? How about feeling distracted when it’s too cold? You may not have noticed, but productivity can be affected by your office’s temperature. After all, your workplace’s environment is a massive factor in whether you and your staff perform in their best condition.

Remember that when productivity suffers, the company’s service suffers alongside it. Hence, it’s our job to change the workplace to improve our experience and increase productivity. But first, here’s how temperature can affect your employee’s performance.

Staff Productivity Depends on The Temperature

It’s not surprising that every individual prefers a different setting on your office thermostat. Some want it cold, while others like to stay warm while working. In practical terms, we want to keep the office temperature that will satisfy most of the staff. Still, in some cases, the temperature might be too much for specific individuals. A study conducted by Cornell University states that when an office is at 68F, the staff’s performance significantly dropped and made 44% more errors than when their employers set the thermostat to 75F. The study pointed out that employees can get distracted by the cold, losing 10% of work done per employee.

Keeping the office cold costs our body to ramp up in energy usage to keep the body warm, concentrating in work harder. However, making the temperature too hot can cause detrimental effects too. When your staff complains about your office’s stuffy and hot environment, it’s time to hire air conditioning repair services because you need to fix that problem as soon as possible. Employees who are forced to work in a hot environment focus too much on keeping themselves cool, thus decreasing their output for the day.

Consequently, a study by the University of Chicago states a decrease in productivity depending on the workplace’s temperature. The data used was gathered from different workers employed at factories that either has automated or labor-intensive manufacturing process. The study revealed that a 4% drop in productivity was observed when the temperature reaches above 80F, specifically for workplaces that involve manual labor. However, in industries that heavily rely on automated work, they did not see a decrease in productivity.

Why the Perfect Temperature Matters

business meeting

Aside from the benefits gained from using energy-efficient equipment, HVAC systems can improve your employees’ welfare. Here are a couple of reasons how temperature directly affects your employees:

It Can Help Your Staff Focus on Their Job

Employees satisfied with their workplace’s temperature see less need to get out of their desk to cool/warm themselves up. After all, if your employees are comfortable at their desks, they don’t need to constantly get up and find ways to get themselves cool or warm. By having a pleasant atmosphere at the office, your staff will be contented throughout the day, thus helping them focus more on their task at hand.

Critical Equipment Needs the Right Temperature to Function

If you’re in an industry that uses expensive equipment for your daily workflow, you need to get the right temperature as soon as you can. Computers, servers, specialized tools, and more need to be operated in an environment that lessens the chance of overheating failure. Since your employees need this equipment to do their work, you need to take precautions to prevent it from malfunctioning. Operating your computer at the right temperature keeps them in tip-top shape without the fear of losing productivity when it breaks.

Reduce the Fear of Health Risks

Controlling your workplace’s temperature involves the use of air conditioning systems in your building. Consequently, HVAC systems have ventilation tunnels that are used to keep the air flowing. Hence, when you have an air-conditioned office, the quality of air improves. An HVAC system prevents the spread of allergens that are dangerous for sensitive individuals. Furthermore, controlling the temperature prevents heat stroke risks in summer.

Keeping the Temperature Just Right

A workplace can either be of two things: too hot or too cold. Whether they work inside an office or out in the field, employees experience varying sentiments regarding their workplace’s temperature. Consequently, these sentiments are very subjective. Some individuals prefer a cooler environment; while others are sensitive to the cold, they need to bundle up to stay warm. Hence, it’s up to the supervisors to set the thermostat at a temperature that the majority can withstand.

Thankfully, there are guidelines in OSHA’s technical manual regarding the proper control measures for indoor temperature for the staff’s welfare. OSHA advises that office temperature should be between 68F to 78F, both of which are far below the aforementioned 80F threshold. Hence, if your office is above or below OSHA’s temperature guideline, we recommend you to change the temperature by a degree or two. Take note, increasing the temperature may cost you more, but the temperature change will benefit both the company and your employees in the long run.

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