HVAC System Office Temperature and Productivity
HVAC System Office Settings for Best Productivity
NASA Science describes “the Goldilocks zone” as a very small area around a star that will permit the natural accuracy of H20 in liquid form, with the chemical resources to support life. In our solar system, this area does not include Mercury, where water would boil away, or Mars, where it would freeze solid. Microbial life can be found in extreme environments, but more complex life functions require a narrower environmental window.
As the Texas economy continues to grow and people return to office spaces, the focus of employers is now on attracting new employees and retaining great ones. Every possible advantage for employee retention becomes important and that extends to the benefit of a comfortable workspace.
It is in no one’s best interest to ignore employee complaints about room temperature since comfort leads to productivity. Today we are looking at finding the “Goldilocks zone” in your office space to satisfy all your employees and increase productivity in the work environment. Is there a perfect office temperature? Here are some strategies to consider:
Why is temperature important to the workplace?
- One-fourth of employees admit that their productivity falls during the summer months. Some of this might be attributed to daydreaming or planning a vacation. However, a study at Cornell University demonstrates that uncomfortable people are easily distracted.
- The study found that typing errors decreased by almost half when the office temperature setting was changed from “too cold” to “just right.” Productivity increased by more than 100% when people were comfortable.
- The indications of lower productivity include:
- Employees arriving late and leaving early
- Smoke breaks, coffee runs, and long lunches
- An office outside of the Goldilocks zone can also lead to distractions when employees argue and become hostile about the office temperature.
When the temperature setting affects the bottom line, it is worth considering. First, consider whether recent changes made by employees might have contributed to temperature extremes.
- Has furniture been rearranged? Look for vents or returns that might be blocked by furniture or accessories.
- Does the office layout contribute to good ventilation?
- Are employees bringing personal, portable heaters for their area? They can be fire hazards and will counteract the HVAC system.
What is the Goldilocks zone in office temperature? The ideal temperature will not work for everyone, but let’s look at some research:
- The ideal temperature should differ slightly between the cooling and heating seasons.
- There are no OSHA guidelines for indoor air temperature, but they do set standards for humidity (20-60%) and require plenty of fresh air.
- The Cornell study demonstrated a temperature setting between 720and 790 F improved comfort and productivity. That is still a broad range.
- Other experts suggest a setting between 710and 730 F is ideal. That is a pretty narrow range.
Other factors also affect comfort besides air temperature. They include ventilation, air quality, season, and body type.
- Moving air feels cooler and is comforting. Try turning the HVAC System blower fan to “on” instead of “auto” to keep the air moving.
- For employee and customer safety and comfort, use premium air filters and change them on schedule. Indoor air quality contributes to creating the ideal environment.
- Maintain your HVAC system to make sure the air conditioner is removing moisture from the air during the steamy summer months. Humidity contributes to a sticky feel to office furniture and adjusting sweaty clothes if terribly uncomfortable.
- Our perception of comfort changes from season to season. The ideal temp in the summer is too cold in the winter. Expect the Goldilocks zone to change between cooling and heating season.
- The number of people occupying a given space contributes to your considerations. Think of every person as a 980space heater. You will need cooling for a longer season than you will need heating.
- It is no secret that men and women have different temperature preferences. Other factors include body type, age, and past experiences in different climates.
Working towards finding a “just right” workspace temperature can contribute to a preferred and productive work environment. Your efforts will be rewarded.
Need help finding your HVAC System Goldilocks zone?
Our four decades of experience as an HVAC System maintenance contractor, AirPro Houston provides you with the skill and expertise to assist in HVAC Maintenance decisions.
We have several financing options available with great options with up to 72-month terms with approved credit. Call us today at 281-880-8805 and let us partner with you for all of your HVAC repair and installation needs.