The Best Temperatures for Productivity in Commercial Buildings
You must have known by now that having an ideal temperature in your office has an effect on productivity – yours and that of your staff. A slight rise or fall in the office temperature would have a major impact on your focus, engagement, and performance of others in your office.
While a now-discredited study, carried out in a male-only office, said a temperature of between 70 and 73 degrees Fahrenheit was ideal for most employees, it is true that a too hot or cold office would not be ideal for anyone to perform at his or her optimal levels. Tri-Star, the leading HVAC contractor in Savannah, GA, looked into this issue and here are the results:
Women and Office Temperature
Newer studies, however, advocate for you to take into account the different chemical make-up of women when adjusting the thermostat in the office particularly in summer when you never switch off air conditioners all day long.
This newer research, for example, have noted that women have lower metabolic rates than men have and tend to have more body fat, which makes them more prone to cold than men. It is, therefore, critical to set the office temperature with women in your office in your mind.
This is because the studies indicate that women prefer the average temperature (either at home or in the office) to be 77 degrees. Men, for comparison, prefer 71.6 degrees. You, therefore, must consider both how many women are in your office and the design of your office building.
For instance, wide windows allow more sunlight in warming the office while a ceiling set up higher generates poor air distribution requiring your air conditioners to run at higher speeds. You must consider your office building and your staff when deciding the ideal temperature for your office.
Office Temperature and Staff Productivity
Different studies have shown that a rise in office temperatures drive down productivity once they pass the optimal mark. Hence, both your male and female staff will not deliver if you set the thermostat above 90 F or lower than 60 F since they will be spending more of their time and energy in cooling themselves or shivering respectively than focusing on their work.
The Differences in Temperature Needs
Each office occupant’s weight, in relation to his or her body mass index (BMI), determines his or her perception of the office temperature. Heavier staff will feel warm more quickly while those with lower-than-average BMI usually get cold easier.
Older employees, particularly those who have clocked over 55 years, tend to feel cold faster and are more productive in a warmer office.
Humidity also affects employees’ perception of temperature such that a humid air hinders their ability to sweat, which would make them exhausted from the heat. For maximum productivity, humidity must be hovering around the 40 percent level.
While high humidity exhausts the staff, a very low humidity would make one feel colder than it is besides making his or her skin, throat, and nasal passages to feel dry and uncomfortable.
It, therefore, is imperative that you consider the comfort of all staff when setting your office temperature. If you are looking for more information regarding your office temperature, contact us at Tri-Star, a local HVAC company in Savannah, Georgia and we’ll gladly help you out!