In many offices thermal conditions are not well controlled
In many commercial buildings, thermal conditions are not controlled properly due to insufficient cooling or heating capacity, high internal and external loads, improper control system and many other factors. Since the thermal conditions inside the buildings vary according to the outside conditions, there is a need to maintain them according to the comfort, in such way that the change does not affect the worker productivity.
Too warm occupants feel tired: Too warm temperatures at the workplace makes the employees feel exhausted. Many of the workers in US feel that it is difficult to concentrate when the work place is too hot. Employees will feel tired even after doing very less work – this is a great obstacle to productivity.
Too cold occupants easily get distracted: Low temperatures also create problems at the workplace. In such conditions people tend to break more often for tea and for going out. A survey conducted by Cornell University, found that workers in cold places make more errors, which potentially increase the worker’s hourly labor cost by 10%. Additionally, infectious diseases like cold and flu spread from one person to another in cold weather.
Benefits of improved temperature at workplace
The temperature should neither be hot nor cold at workplace. It should be balanced well. An organization can benefit in many ways by implementing proper temperatures. Some of them are:
Increased comfort: Every employee spends nearly 8 to 9 hours a day at workplace. A well maintained, moderate temperature always makes the person feel comfortable at work. With increased level of comfort, the employee tends to work more productively.
Less distraction: Improved temperature which suits the needs of the employees always leaves them less distracted and helps them concentrate more on the work.
Healthy environment: Warmer temperature (not hot) creates healthy environment by controlling the outspread of contagious diseases, which is common in cold temperatures. As a result, people will fall sick less frequently and hence absenteeism reduces.
Fewer errors: A Cornell University study found that typing errors fell by 44% and typing output increased by 150% when the temperature rose from 68 degrees F to 77 degrees F.
Recommended office temperature
In order to get all the above mentioned benefits, one needs to follow the recommended temperature and humidity levels for the offices. Following are the effective recommendations.
According to American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), ‘thermal comfort’ (an employee wearing normal amount clothing) should feel neither too cold nor too warm. In order to maintain such conditions, they recommend maintaining 68 to 74 degrees F in winter and 73 to 79 degrees F in summer.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of United States Department of Labor recommended the temperature range as 68 to 76 degrees F and the humidity control range as 20%-60% for office environments.
Since the winter is fast approaching, make sure that your workplace temperature is maintained properly in order to maintain or improve the workplace productivity. The most efficient and cost effective way to heat the office space is by using electric heaters. They are very helpful for small businesses which cannot afford central heating system. Even if there is central heating option, some spaces in the workplaces will be deprived of the heat. Portable infrared heaters are very helpful in these situations.
Moreover, we can save energy using infrared heaters since they waste no energy in warming the air, unlike the conventional heating systems. They are far more energy efficient than central heating systems.
Investing in heating systems to rise temperatures is bit expensive initially. But it is a onetime investment with many benefits. Dont worry about the heating costs; they can be outweighed by the savings associated with the increased worker productivity.