Office temperature seems to be an issue globally. Some say that it is too hot, whilst others complain that is it too cold – the debate becomes endless. However, this topic quickly develops into a bigger issue when you realise the temperature of your office environment can directly affect staff productivity.
A recent survey conducted by Andrews Sykes reveal that 80% of office workers are not happy with their office temperature, whereby 27% of employees feel too hot in the summer and 25% of employees feel too cold in the winter.
On average, men waste approximately 6.4 minutes a day trying to adjust to office temperatures, whilst women waste 8.5 minutes trying to do the same. Within the UK alone, this adds up to £1,670 wasted annually per individual, which accounts to almost £15bn wasted over the working year.*
Employee engagement massively drops when they are in an uncomfortable work environment, thus it negatively impacts on themselves and the business. It is common for workers to put on extra clothing during cold office conditions. However, the report revealed that 50% of female employees would make excessive cups of hot drinks to keep warm which inevitably reduces the time they spend working. In hot office conditions, 46% of workers desperately flung open windows for fresh air and 32% of them bought in a fan or cooling device – which can both be disruptive to the company’s existing ventilation system as it triggers an irregularity of air flow around the building.
Facilities Management are never happy with sneaky thermostat switchers since one central system could potentially control the temperature of a large area of the office building. Surprisingly, 60% of employees would still change the temperature without asking permission.
Whilst others have taken more drastic measures, one office worker was found to have a paddling pool beneath the desk to keep their feet cool, whilst another built their own cardboard ventilation system to divert cold air to other parts of the office.
As an overview, research has shown that temperature can affect the happiness and productivity of your workforce. Therefore, it is vital to provide employees with a suitable office environment with good ventilation, whereby air conditioning units are not blocked and heating flows are not being altered by any room dividers.