Office Temperature Can Affect Productivity

17 Apr. 19

Office Temperature Can Affect Productivity

We all know temperatures vary in offices and commercial buildings — and comfortable temperatures vary for individuals — so what’s an office manager or business owner to do? In this article, we’ll look at temperature and office productivity, and explain a bit about HVAC systems and how they work to heat and cool your business.

What is an HVAC System?

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning is the technology of indoor and vehicular environmental comfort. Its goal is to provide thermal comfort and acceptable indoor air quality.

HVAC is an important part of residential structures such as single family homes, apartment buildings, hotels and senior living facilities, medium to large industrial and office buildings such as skyscrapers and hospitals, vehicles such as cars, trains, airplanes, ships and submarines, and in marine environments, where safe and healthy building conditions are regulated with respect to temperature and humidity, using fresh air from outdoors.

How Can Temperature Increase Productivity in Your Office?

Let’s face it — a lot of the time your employees spend at work may not be very productive. Here are some unproductive things your employees may be spending their time on in the office:

  • Replying, sending, and sorting emails
  • Sharing funny emails/GIFs
  • Daydreaming in meetings
  • Talking with co-workers
  • Taking unnecessary or longer breaks than they are allowed

Several studies have also found that productivity is affected by the surrounding temperature of the office — something you want to get right with all the other distractions you may not be able to control!

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that temperature definitely does affect your employees’ creativity. In 2009, 22% of employee respondents to a CareerBuilder survey said when their office was too hot they found it difficult to concentrate. In the same study, 27% of workers said their workplace was too warm, 19% said it was too cold, and 54% said it was just right.

That means that a little over half the offices in the world are the wrong temperature for employees to be the most productive. Is your office one of them?

So, what is the magic temperature for the best employee and office productivity? A study published by the Helsinki University of Technology in Finland and Berkeley Lab’s Energy Technologies Area of California found that workplace performance increases when the office temperature is between 69.8 and 71.6 degrees Fahrenheit, or 21 and 22 degrees Celsius. In addition, the study found that the temperature with the highest productivity was 71.6 degrees Fahrenheit or 22 degrees Celsius.

Another study conducted by Cornell University found that cold workers make more typing errors and increase labor cost by 10%. When the office temperature increased from 68 degrees to 77 degrees Fahrenheit, typing errors decreased by 44% and typing output increased by 150%! Those are big numbers.

Great workplaces are a product of many factors. They require organized policies, a positive work culture, and hardworking employees. However, we often overlook that the environment plays a huge role in how we operate.

So the next time you adjust the thermostat, think about the office productivity levels first — and keep the temperature hovering around 71.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Your employees and your business will thank you!

If you want Nordic Temperature Control to take a look at your office’s thermostat, contact us today to a scheduled service visit.

Kevin Hansen, Owner | Nordic Temperature Control