July 1st 2015 marked the hottest July day in a decade with temperatures reaching a staggering 36.7°C, meaning that the UK was hotter than Barcelona, Ibiza and Athens. Unbelievably, a temperature of 39.6°C was recorded on the London Underground’s Central Line, leaving cyclists feeling extra smug. The London Ambulance Service had 35% more calls for people fainting and elsewhere in the UK people were feeling uncomfortable.
With more hot temperatures expected in the next few weeks, we thought we’d give you the facts on how heat affects productivity and some tips on how to make your office a bearable place to work.
Everyone feels like they aren’t as productive when it gets warm but what exactly are the facts on the matter? A survey found that in summer people are 45% more distracted, projects take 13% longer to complete, attendance drops 18% and productivity takes a hit of 20%.
So it isn’t just people moaning, it really is harder to work in. If we take a look at the research on which temperatures people work best at we find that the ideal temperature for working is between 21 and 22°C, with productivity dropping off either side. When temperatures reach above 30°C a person’s productivity drops 10%, with productivity dropping around 20% at 35°C. It is the same in the opposite direction too; employees make more errors at temperatures of below 20°C.
There are guidelines from the HSE on the temperature that an office should be, but as long as you keep things comfortable you’ll abide by this. The temperature should be within 16 and 30°C to keep employees comfortable and healthy. Funnily enough Mark Zuckerberg would be breaking these guidelines with the Facebook offices as he likes to work at 15°C.
Keeping your office at the right temperature will not only ensure your employees are comfortable but will also improve their productivity and we’ve got some tips we’d like to share that will help you do this.
Electronic devices generate a little bit off heat while they’re turned on and these can all add up to put your office temperature up a couple of degrees. Make sure that any unneeded electronics are turned off when they’re not in use.
If your office has a strict dress-code then you should consider relaxing this for the warmer months. Suits will only keep your employees warmer than what is comfortable for them.
If you don’t have a water cooler or tap that employees can use to get a drink then invest in one for summer. Dehydrated employees will be even less comfortable and productive than warm ones.
Ensure that you have an air conditioner to keep your office temperature at comfortable levels. Your A/C must be working correctly though; one that isn’t working properly will be inefficient and will cost your business in electricity bills.
We hope that you now have all of the information to keep your office cool this summer so that your employees are as comfortable and productive as possible. Having a good office design is another way to ensure that your employees are productive and comfortable. Here at OfficeScape we’re experienced in helping our clients build the office spaces that are best for their businesses. For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us on 01553 811 833.