Can a Comfortable Temp Produce More Work?
If the temperatures in your office have employees donning parkas and wool hats, or stripping down to the bare necessities, it may be time to consider turning the dial on that thermostat. In fact, according to a study from Cornell University, employees are more productive and less distracted when the temperatures in their working environments are better controlled. Overall, it was estimated that a company could save over 10% of their wage costs per worker by simply adjusting their offices’ heating and cooling system. Not only does productivity and communication fail in the face of a poorly regulated environment, but employees make more errors when office temperatures start to dip.
Keep Your Employees Comfortable
Studies show that changes in temperature lead to changes in our perceptions, and even our choices in the words we use. Our exposure to warmth leads us to experience a difference in our social proximity to others and changes the way we interact and regard each other. If the temperature in the office is cold, the chances are good that your employees’ interactions with each other are turning frosty as well.
But alas, we don’t have to turn to studies to tell us that the temperature can have an impact on our emotions. Anyone who has been too hot or too cold can attest to the fact that it can quickly begin to cause notable irritability and impair our ability to interact with our environment in a positive manner. A survey conducted by CareerBuilder also found that 22% of workers that found their environment too hot expressed difficulty concentrating, and 11 percent mirrored that remark in workplaces that were too cold.
Finding the Right Temperature Balance
Although no perfect temperature for the office has yet to be identified, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends temperatures ranging from 68 degrees to 76 degrees Fahrenheit to satisfy the comfort of employees wearing a normal amount of clothing. But the inherent challenge in obtaining a prime office environment can also be attributed to the physical differences between men and women. Current calibrations to determine the standard temperature for offices is only based on the heat production of men. Because the average metabolic rate of women is significantly lower, offices are often regarded by the female workforce as being too cold for comfort.
Although finding the perfect temperature for all employees can be a challenge, identifying a middle ground is in the best interest of every employer in their attempt to bring out prime productivity in their employees. It’s important to talk openly and candidly to employees about the temperature and to try to find a solution together. Have your office HVAC system serviced on a regular schedule to be sure it is working at peak efficiency. Encourage employees to assist in the matter by dressing appropriately for office conditions.
Comfortable Temperatures Keep Employees Productive
Building a good, productive, communicative, and positive office environment requires more than fair work, satisfactory wages, and good policies. It also requires a pleasant physical environment that helps promote our natural instinct to trust each other and share resources when we’re physically comfortable. Just as we keep our homes at comfortable temperatures and stay inside on days that are too cold or too hot, it’s no wonder that we are at our best in an office environment that meets our comfort needs. Bring out the best in your workers and promote productivity by keeping that temperature at an optimal level for employee productivity.
For over 45 years, Bob Jenson has been providing quality heating and air services to the San Diego community.
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