In an office environment, it’s tough to find an ideal temperature everyone can agree on. Typically, Brooks, Georgia, office managers choose a temperature that’s either too high or too low for most people’s comfort. Striking the right temperature balance in the office can help boost productivity, prevent illnesses, and keep employees happy.
The Importance of Finding the Right Temperature
Adjusting the temperature in the office can drastically improve or decrease productivity. In fact, productivity tends to decrease during the summer months when it’s too hot. Excessive heat can cause an individual to daydream and take longer lunch breaks. It can also encourage workers to come in late or leave early.
When temperatures and humidity levels are too high, they can also encourage the spread of viruses, mold, and bacteria, all of which spread through the workplace via the HVAC system. Plus, all those sick days hurt productivity more than any extended lunch break ever could, so it’s critical to avoid the spread of illness at all costs.
Another problem with choosing the wrong temperature setting for the office is that it can cause workplace problems. When office managers don’t select an ideal temperature for everyone, employees try to find their own solutions by rearranging furniture, blocking vents, and bringing in portable heaters, which can be a serious fire hazard.
The Problem With Ideal Office Temperatures
It’s clear that finding a temperature setting that suits everyone is the best solution, but that’s easier said than done. The “ideal” office temperature is a vague concept because everyone has different needs. Most experts suggest setting commercial thermostats between 71 and 73 degrees, while other studies recommend a broader range between 72 and 79 degrees.
Even the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) doesn’t offer regulations on the matter, although the agency does recommend well-circulated air with a 20- to 60-percent humidity level.
Factors to Keep in Mind
Aside from the actual temperature setting on the thermostat, there are a few factors that affect how people’s bodies react to temperature. These factors include humidity, air quality, season, body type, and gender.
High humidity levels make a workplace uncomfortable, especially in the summertime when employees are more likely to sweat. Humidity also makes a room feel stuffy. On the flip side, winter air is much drier than summer air. When the air is too dry, people can suffer from irritated sinuses, sore throat, itchy eyes, and dry skin. Having a programmable or smart thermostat that allows you to adjust humidity levels can help you find that ideal balance.
Men and women also experience temperature differently. In fact, most office thermostats are set with men’s comfort levels in mind, not women’s, which is why so many female workers resort to bringing portable heaters and fans to their desks depending on the season. Encourage all employees to dress appropriately for the season and consider the office’s temperature settings without giving preferential treatment to either sex.
Solutions to End Thermostat Disagreements
The best thermostat setting in the office is one that reduces employee arguments and makes the highest number of people happy. For instance, you can allow employees to rearrange their tasks based on warmer or cooler parts of the office. Have the more strenuous tasks take place in cooler areas during the morning to keep productivity levels high.
Installing blinds on office windows will also help regulate temperatures. Just be sure you know how to use them. Keeping the blinds closed can keep the office cool during the summer, but leaving them open can warm up a room on a cold winter day.
If employees often complain the office is too hot, switch out heat-producing light bulbs with cooler LEDs or compact fluorescent lights (CFLs).
Make sure the office thermostat is located in an area away from direct sunlight or heat-producing appliances, otherwise it will give an inaccurate reading and leave the office much chillier than you want.
It’s also important to schedule regular commercial HVAC maintenance to check for issues such as blocked vents, dirty coils, broken parts, and clogged filters. Contact Trinity Air at (770) 285-1990 to schedule your next service.