How Temperature Negatively Affects Work Performance

One of the most painful and frustrating facts of life that we’ve been accepting is that you can’t always control the temperature of your office. But what does that do to productivity levels? How can being so cold in the office that you have to type with gloves on change the way you think in general? Or how does sweating while you read a document affect you in a work environment?

When it’s Too Cold to Think

Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York, did some research on the subject of being too cold in a work environment. When the temperature was around 20 degrees, employees made 44 percent more errors and were half as productive than when they were nice and warm at 25 degrees. The research found that when employees were cold, they were distracted, costing their employers 10 percent more per hour, per employee.

Why were they dropping in attention? Because when our body temperature drops, we need to use more energy to keep warm, rather than put it to better use via concentration and inspiration.

Psychologists have also recently discovered that colder temperatures have a lot to do with how we interact with others. When we’re cold, we perceive others as behaving coldly and in a less open manner. Physical warmth leads to emotional warmth and trust, contrarily. So it’s important in a workplace to have warm enough temperatures so that workplace relationships perform as smoothly as possible, as well.

When it’s Too Hot to Function

The golden office temperature for heightened productivity is somewhere between 22 and 25 degrees. Anything above or below that will lead to decreased productivity.

Working in an environment that is too hot can make workers lethargic and unfocused. Heat stress can cause the body to lose electrolytes and water faster, causing low mental performance and decreased motor skills. Your body will be trying to preserve energy, which will undoubtedly slow your minds, making completing tasks and avoiding errors a difficult feat.

This is particularly problematic in workplaces where people are working in high temperatures with high humidity, poor ventilation and the use of heavy machinery and equipment that creates heat.

What to do?

If your office, restaurant or workplace doesn’t already have ducted air systems, consider installing wall mounted split systems. They offer heating and cooling elements, are easy to install and maintain and are affordable and cost effective.

While each business should budget heating and cooling costs effectively, paying for the right office temperature is an investment and will return to the employer in other ways, namely increased worker productivity. To discuss what air conditioning or heating unit is right for your office in Melbourne, contact Jacob Refrigeration today.

Author: Jan Yakoob

Jan is the managing director of Jacob Refrigeration, a leading company with more than 35 years of experience in air conditioning and refrigeration installation. We continually exceed client expectations through quality, reliability and efficiency.