Turn up the heat, turn it down; fan on, fan off; window opened, window closed. The quest for that sweet spot of comfort happens daily in offices everywhere. Comfort fuels productivity, but getting to a comfortable temperature might be difficult.
FELT COMFORT, MORE COMPLICATED THAN YOU’D THINK
Here’s what we know from research:
- Too-hot or too-cold workspaces affect concentration and productivity.
- For every degree above average temperature, productivity drops by 3%.
- 29% of workers say they spend between 10 and 30 minutes each day not working due to uncomfortable office temperatures.
- 30% of surveyed workers say they manage temperature-related discomforts by leaving their workspaces at some point to walk outside.
We also know this: When we increase office temperature from 68 to 72°F, errors in work fall by 44%, and output more than doubles.
BEST THERMOSTAT SETTING? IT DEPENDS
The optimum office temperature isn’t precise. It depends in part on the nature of the tasks at hand. Workers who must solve problems and create benefit from warmer temperatures paired with quiet. Those who perform monotonous tasks benefit from cooler temperatures that help them stay alert.
IF YOU’RE IN CHARGE OF THE THERMOSTAT
Uncomfortable temperatures distract office workers and increase errors that can impact profitability.
- Penny-wise.com says that if you manage an office with 100 workers, you will likely lose 8-18 hours of productivity each day as they try to get comfortable.
- The Cornell researchers say that if you adjust the temperature to a more comfortable range, you can save about $2 per worker, per hour.
Members of your team may manage personal comfort by keeping jackets or blankets at hand or using space heaters and desk fans. Still, you can help.
- Install window blinds where sunlight proves problematic.
- Resist the temptation to adjust the thermostat frequently. Consistency is best.
- Refrain from adjusting the air conditioning for weekends when the office isn’t in use. (This wastes energy and money.)
If your HVAC system is due for replacement, or if new construction is on the horizon, consider the installation of geothermal heating and cooling, a $9.5 billion industry seeing growth in the commercial sector.
Enertech, a longtime provider of energy-efficient solutions, recommends systems that include:
- Zone controls with separate thermostats that allow you to regulate temperatures in different parts of your building. Check out this Enertech installation with six zones.
- Radiant-heated floors.
- Smart controls like Enertech’s EPIC-connected controls allow you to monitor the comfort of your office and HVAC system from anywhere in real time.
Contact Enertech today to learn how you can affect productivity, profitability, and comfort.