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Is There a Link Between Office Temperature and Worker Productivity?

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We may not always realize it but our environment has a huge impact on our thoughts, feelings, and actions. It is now generally accepted that changing the environment of the individual will have a huge impact on their behavior. In the work environment there will always be a need to promote productivity. Humans are the most important resource that any company will have so it is vital to get the most from the. There is a lot of interest in how the work environment impacts productivity. One aspect of this is office temperature.

The Important of Office Temperature

If you can think back to those times when you have been very hot or very cold you will probably remember how it impacted your behavior. When we are too hot it is hard to concentrate and it can also make us feel very irritable – it makes us drowsy too. When the weather is too cold all we can think about is keeping warm; maybe cuddling up in a blanket. It is probably obvious to all of us that such extremes of temperature are not going t be good for office productivity.

Research into the Perfect Office Temperatures

There has been a lot of interest in finding the best temperature for increasing productivity. One study by Cornell University provided evidence that warm temperatures are more likely to encourage people to work hard. It was found that when the temperature was raised to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s about 25 degrees Celsius) the productivity of office workers increased. There were also far less likely to make errors.

Cost Effectiveness of Heating the Workplace

Keeping the office temperature at about 77 degrees Fahrenheit is a lot easier to achieve in a warm climate. Trying to do the same in a colder climate or during winter can be quite expensive. Most businesses are trying to keep their heating bills down by lowering the temperature to a more modest amount. Even turning up the temperature by a few degrees can mean a leap in heating bills. It is often therefore necessary for businesses to conduct a cost benefit analysis before they make such a change. If the increased productivity created by turning up the heat isn’t enough to offset the heating bills then it will not be cost effective.

It is important to keep in mind that heating is only part of the overall equation when it comes to office productivity. Other aspects of the environment can also have a huge influence. If there is a lot of background noise then this can make workers less productive. If the lighting is too low it can make them tire more easily and may even lead to increased sickness due to eye strain. Another vital aspect of the environment will be the office furniture. If this isn’t ergonomic it may mean that the health of the workforce will be compromised. They will be less productive and spend more time off work as a result.

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Meet the Author

Anthony Carter currently resides in Fife, Scotland with his wife Lisa, and their three wonderful children. As a senior editor for various publications, if he's not reading and writing, you would find him photographing and traveling to some of the most far-flung locations around the world.

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