Office climate squabbles may seem trivial, but now you can see the potential impact on your company’s bottom line. Comfortable employees are more productive, an outcome every manager wants to see.
Take Office Climate Issues Seriously
Dissatisfied employees can lead to expensive problems. A compelling 2004 study by Cornell University found that typists made more errors when the temperature was uncomfortably low. Part of the study’s conclusion asserted “raising the temperature to a more comfortable thermal zone saves employers about $2 per worker, per hour.” That doesn’t mean warmer is always better, though. Far more than half — 67% — of employees surveyed felt that a warm office negatively affected their productivity.
Office climate issues shouldn’t be ignored. Tampering with the thermostat can cause a commercial HVAC system to run constantly trying to keep up. The resulting higher energy bills affect your company’s bottom line. Partner with a professional HVAC contractor who has experience solving similar business problems. Your staff will also benefit from the consultation to address improved indoor office air quality.
Stay Current on Best Practices
A 2006 study out of Finland recommends 71.5 degrees Fahrenheit as the ideal office temperature. Even since then, more and more women are joining the workforce — a trend that shows no sign of stopping. Women tend to feel colder than men in the same room temperature for a variety of reasons related to hormones, physiology, and psychology. As a result, many modern offices may need to adjust to women’s preferences.
The age of your employees will also change how comfortable they are. As the body ages, it tends to become more sensitive to cold. Older employees may need a warmer environment.
Offer Ways Employees Can Adjust Their Own Climates
Employees with a south-facing office window may roast in the afternoon sun, while those on the opposite side of the building can’t shake a chill. Uneven sun exposure is a natural problem that can be overcome.
Show your employees that you hear their concerns by offering concrete tools that allow them to customize their personal spaces. Fans or space heaters are inexpensive tokens that empower your staff to feel more comfortable and stay focused on their work. Providing warming or cooling beverages is a similar gesture. Some companies even give away company-branded jackets or blankets.
A professionally installed HVAC system should account for the way the building is positioned on a site relative to the path of the sun. Talk to your HVAC contractor to see if your system allows for dividing the office into zones, which will create the ability to adjust the temperature in each zone. This is one of the most energy-efficient and cost-effective ways to counteract the effect of the weather on a large building.