The Importance of Room Temperature in Offices
One of the main areas of concern for both UK employers and their employees is office productivity and employee health – and both of these areas can be linked to the temperature of the office environment. Employers want a room full of healthy and productive workers, whilst employees want a comfortable work environment that allows them to be productive and reduce the number of sick days, therefore enabling them to perform their job at a more consistent level. The problem is that many people are unaware of what the optimum temperature in the workplace should be, and how they can then achieve that on a consistent basis.
It is no surprise in today’s economy, that being diligent about office temperature and humidity in an outdated infrastructure is one that they would rather avoid. However, this is a false economy. Investing in an efficient heating & cooling system, and the use of plastic strip curtains to help maintain the correct temperature, will actually lead to a reduction in energy expenses in the long term. However, sticking with an outdated system which is not regularly maintained means that temperatures will fluctuate and therefore energy costs will rise.
For an office environment to be at its most effective there has to be a spirit of cooperation in the building. The employer should ensure they provide an efficient and reliable heating and cooling source, along with plastic strip curtains at entrance and exit points. The employee must therefore agree not to adjust the temperature according to their personal taste (as no two employees will be the same) but instead dress accordingly knowing what the temperature will be. Once this is agreed, the office manager can then set the temperature and there will be no wasteful changes on a day to day basis.
So, how do the employer and the employee come to an agreement on what the peak performance temperature will be? There have been a lot of studies done to try and answer this question, and the results have been surprising.
One study on office temperature was completed by Northumbria University recently. They distributed a questionnaire to 400 employees at over 16 locations. Their results found that when the temperature in the office was too low, employees reported that they felt less focused and productive in the afternoons. These findings are very similar to those of the Cornell University research which was done a few years earlier. They found that an office temperature of 20 degrees Celsius or lower resulted in employees feeling drowsy between the hours of 1pm and 4pm and led to more errors being made. Another study, done in Finland, actually found that the ideal temperature for an office was 21 degrees Celsius, which is higher than most offices in the UK would imagine.
The problem with having an ideal temperature of 21 degrees Celsius, is that if your heating and cooling system is not in good repair it may eat a lot of energy trying to stabilise the temperature at this level. Also connected with having a heating and cooling system in bad repair, is that if the vents are not regularly cleaned, employees could get ill which could impact their productivity, and that off the rest of the office if they have to take time off.
There are many factors which can influence how an individual employee reacts to the office temperature, such as: the season, the individuals health, the clothing preferences of the individual, the age of the individual, etc. Their productivity is affected by the temperature though, so it is important to get it right.
If we concentrate on the fact that we want to improve the efficiency and productivity of each employee, then the happiness of the employee can only be a good thing as it will improve your bottom line. In order to maximise employee productivity you should invest in clean and regularly maintained heating and cooling system, and some plastic strip curtains for entrance and exit areas. If you actively keep an eye on your office temperature and the comfort of your employees, you will be rewarded with a more productive and motivated workforce.
To find out more about the range of plastic strip curtains and PVC door curtains, bulk rolls and replacement PVC strip curtains that we offer, please visit our website at www.stripcurtainsdirect.co.uk or call us on 0333 999 7171.