When employees are at work they need to be comfortable in order to complete the tasks at hand. Sometimes they are in their workplace for 8 hours or more, and during this time they need to be working in suitable conditions.
It is the responsibility of an employer to make sure that they are providing their staff with a sufficient working environment that meets and supports their needs.
Otherwise workers can suffer from health problems which can lead to absenteeism. This is costly for any company and can be prevented. All employees have the right to a comfortable workplace which does not compromise their health and well being.
Air conditioning and heating systems are two ways employers can ensure this happens. By regulating the temperature of a workplace, it enables their staff to feel comfortable throughout the working day.
In this blog post we’ll explore the different ways a controlled temperature can benefit employees and increase their productivity.
Why Is a Controlled Temperature Important?
There have been various studies into the effects of temperature on employees and how air conditioning can improve productivity and profits for a business.
The Facilities Management Journal found that nearly one third of workers are less productive due to unsuitable office temperatures. The survey reported that 29% of office workers are unable to work efficiently, and spend between 10 – 30 minutes a day feeling uncomfortable due to office temperatures. 6% said they lose more than 30 minutes a day of productive working time as a result of the office temperature not being conducive to working conditions.
FMJ also conducted a survey which found that the wrong office temperature could be costing UK businesses approximately 2% of office hours which equates to approximately £13 billion annually.
As a result, savvy employers need to ensure they are providing their workforce with a sufficient cooling system so that workers can perform to the best of their ability.
How Can Air Conditioning Improve Conditions for Workers?
One of the most common challenges that any employer faces is how to keep their staff happy and productive all year through. In the UK we experience different seasons which bring a whole host of weather changes.
In the summer, it can be easy for work spaces to overheat regardless of what industry you work in. If you’re indoors, then there is always the potential for it to be too hot unless you have a sufficient cooling system. Thankfully for employers, portable air conditioning units are a useful and cost effective solution.
Below, we explore some of the benefits that can be enjoyed.
Keeps the Office Comfortable
The most obvious advantage of providing air conditioning is that it keeps the environment comfortable and cool. Especially in the summer, your employees will not be able to function properly if they are working in stuffy, close conditions. Furthermore, the heat will make them feel sluggish and they will be less productive. Whether you’re a project manager working at a desk or a construction worker sitting in a portable canteen, you need to feel comfortable. Otherwise this affects your ability to focus at work as you have less energy.
Providing air conditioning allows you to combat the widespread discomfort that comes during the summer months. When employees are inside an office space, the indoors should provide a welcome escape from the heat. This allows them to feel more relaxed and focus on completing their work.
Maintains a Constant Temperature
Using air conditioning regulates the temperature of the office so that it is not constantly fluctuating. If the temperature is always going up and down then employees will notice and their productivity will be negatively affected.
Workers enjoy consistent conditions, and by using an air conditioning unit, you can control what temperature you set it. Around 21 degrees is usually an ideal temperature to keep workers comfortable. As the room is kept at a constant, they won’t be distracted when the temperature increases, drops, and increases again. Instead they will be able to acclimatise to the temperature you have set which encourages a healthier workflow.
Helps to Prevent Health Problems
Ensuring the humidity levels in a workplace are comfortable for all workers will prevent potential health problems which can be a result of extreme temperatures. This includes stress, exhaustion, dehydration, and sunstroke which can all be serious conditions if people are too hot for extended periods of time. Any worker suffering from these issues throughout the day will naturally see a decrease in productivity.
Similarly to warmer conditions, the cold weather can also bring its own set of problems to your employees such as colds, flu, and sore throats. However, by setting your air conditioning unit to account for the loss of humidity and drops in temperature, will help combat these issues.
No company wants to incur lots of sick days. This hinders productivity and for an employer, you should take steps to make sure seasonally influenced absenteeism is prevented. When you’re working on a construction project or any job for a client, the last thing you want is your workers off sick when it could have been avoided. With an air conditioning unit, you can keep your workplace productive and healthy all year round.
Technology is More Efficient
Although air conditioning is great for workers, it is also very helpful when it comes to the efficiency of machinery.
In any workplace, there are always different pieces of machinery including laptops, desktop computers, printers, scanners, and much more. This equipment is essential to the operations of your business and needs to run smoothly.
However, excessively hot temperatures can cause equipment to overheat so it’s important to keep the environment at a suitable temperature. If employees are interrupted when trying to access their technology, this will hinder their productivity and take them longer to complete tasks. In turn, this will lead to them becoming frustrated and stressed, and will lead to a decrease in morale.
Decrease Stress Levels
The right temperature in a workplace has a calming effect on employees. We can all talk from personal experience about situations where we have been stressed because it’s simply been too hot.
There’s nothing worse than trying to concentrate on a task when all you can think about is how hot you’re feeling. You’re constantly looking for ways to cool down which takes your mind off what you’re actually meant to be doing. Overheating is an uncomfortable sensation, and can make you feel stressed, agitated, and easily irritable. In turn, this leads to a negative working environment where workers could clash with each other.
Stress is something that can never be totally eliminated in a workplace, but air conditioning units are one way to help. They keep a space consistently pleasant, and can either be turned up or down depending on the needs of the workers. This creates a better working atmosphere and leads to enhanced productivity.
Why is Air Quality Important?
For a worker's health and safety, air quality is very important. According to Government Health and Safety regulations, all employers need to adhere to the below.
All workplaces need an adequate supply of fresh air
This supply of air can be from natural ventilation such as opening doors and windows or through a controlled means where air is supplied and/or removed by a powered fan
If you work in an office or shop, natural ventilation will normally be enough to control dusts and vapours from cleaning materials
The amount of air being supplied and its cleanliness are important factors in determining air quality.
As well as using air conditioning units to keep the workers cool, employers should provide an efficient ventilation system as this prevents the air from being stale. By opening doors and keeping windows ajar, you are allowing fresh air to circulate through which is important for health and safety.
This also prevents things like headaches and breathing difficulties. Another way of maintaining good air quality is to use a dehumidifier. This removes excess moisture from the air and helps improve dampness and control humidity.
At YardLink, our dehumidifiers are the ideal choice if your workplace is suffering from dampness or you need to remove moisture from the air. Additionally, they are a great solution if you’re looking to dry out a single room or an extension. Our dehumidifiers are designed to be highly manoeuvrable, so you can move them from room to room for maximum comfort and flexibility.
How Can Heating Improve Conditions for Workers?
Similar to air cooling systems, heating is also essential to ensure workers are happy and comfortable throughout their working day.
As we’ve already covered, the weather can change drastically during the course of a year. Workplaces need to be capable of providing good working conditions despite any seasonal changes.
Providing heating brings many benefits to employees which we’ll explore in more detail below.
If workers are too cold, then it affects their ability to concentrate. This means they are more likely to make errors at work as they are not focussing on the job at hand. Moreover, if they are working in cold conditions, they will want to speed up the job so they can leave quicker. This can also lead to more mistakes as they are rushing the job instead of truly thinking about what they are doing.
If the temperature of the setting is too cold, employees will focus more on ways to heat up, rather than doing their job. They can become easily distracted and will take longer to complete a project than they would if they were comfortable.
Employees will waste valuable time complaining about how cold they are. Regardless of whether you’re working in an office or a construction project, this can take your concentration away from the task. It can be difficult to remain motivated when you’re feeling cold as it is an uncomfortable and unpleasant feeling.
In some cases, employees may end up unwell if they are working in cold conditions for an extended period of time. This can lead to increased absenteeism which costs your business time and money. As a result, this can push back projects while you wait for staff who are off sick. In the long run this could damage the reputation of your business as you are letting clients down.
Why Is Heating Important in the Workplace?
Heating is important in a workplace for a variety of reasons including ensuring a worker's health is never compromised, and productivity levels do not slip.
Regulations provided by Government health and safety, state that employers must adhere to the following principles.
Provide adequate workplace heating, for example portable heaters
Reduce exposure to the cold where possible by implementing processes that minimise exposure to cold areas and cold products
Reducing draughts by closing doors when necessary
Provide insulating floor coverings or special footwear when employees are standing on cold floors for extended periods of time
Providing appropriate clothing to protect workers operating in cold environments
Providing workers with regular breaks so that they can get hot drinks or warm up in heated areas
By following the above guidelines you can be confident that you’re providing a healthy and happy workspace. Without your staff, you have no business, so this should be at the top of your priority list.
At YardLink, we provide everything you could possibly need to create a good work setting. No matter the size of the space you’re working in, our heaters can keep you warm while you work. Our 3kw infra-red radiant heater is great for localised spots and drying out plaster, while our electric convector heater has multiple heat settings and an adjustable thermostat, so you can always stay comfortable. Talk to YardLink today to see which of our space heater hire options is best for you.
Can Heating and Air Conditioning Improve Employee Productivity?
Every employee has the right to a comfortable working environment. Regardless of what industry you work in, this is essential for your health and wellbeing. Most of us spend approximately 40 hours a week at work, and during this time we need to be happy.
Having access to heating and air conditioning is a big part of this, otherwise workers can end up seriously ill. This is especially the case if they are exposed to an insufficient working environment for a long period of time.
Keeping your staff content isn’t just a good thing to do in terms of their morale, but also for the future and longevity of your business. If workers are off sick due to their working conditions then this will be very costly in terms of time and resources. Projects could be heavily disrupted and delayed due to absenteeism. By providing heating and air cooling systems you are protecting both your workers and your company's reputation.
At YardLink, our heating, cooling, and drying equipment hire options help you maintain good working conditions. The cooling range includes everything you could possibly need from air conditioning units to desk fans. In the cold winter months, our cabinet heaters and gas space heaters will keep you warm in even the most challenging conditions.
Get in touch with a member of our friendly team today to see how our hire options can help. We would love to hear from you!