Too hot? Too cold? It seems impossible to please everyone in the office when it comes to temperature.
We are all guilty of complaining about it and trying to take control over the dial.
In an era of open office layout, pleasing everyone is near impossible, so how can we make the workspace more comfortable for all?
Studies show that productivity can drop off by as much as 20% if the temperature is judged uncomfortable as well as contributing to fatigue, heat and cold related illnesses.
So figuring out the right temperature is not just a matter of stopping the complaints, it is also one of health and well-being.
As a rule of thumb, the office temperature should sit somewhere between 20 and 26 degrees Celsius. However the felt temperature under the same digit will highly vary according to the season, the level of activity, the amount and type of clothing worn by employees, the location of their desk in the office, the outside air temperature or the humidity level.
A study run by the Netherlands also revealed that women, who produce about 30% less body heat than men, prefer temperatures about 3 degrees warmer than their male colleagues.
With the Australian weather being rather unpredictable lately, here are a few tips to help make the workplace a little more enjoyable for everyone:
- Regulate your air conditioning unit for temperature (between 22 and 26 degrees) and for humidity (between 40 and 60%)
- Check that the air conditioning reaches all areas in the office and get it serviced regularly
- Avoid installing workstations directly under air conditioning outlets
- Direct airflow away from people by installing deflectors on air vents
- Assess the level of sunlight and heat coming through the windows, you may need to apply a window treatment to block out the light or simply install some blinds
- Avoid having too many employees as well as heat generating equipment in small rooms
- Ensure adequate air flow throughout the office to avoid a feeling of stuffiness. On the other hand too much air flow will cause draughts. A desirable air flow sits between 0.1 and 0.2 metres per second