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Braving the cold and frosty elements on the daily commute means that winter 2016 is officially here, and the only thing that motivates you to get into work is the promise of a hot cup of coffee and a warm, well-heated workspace. But, if the working temperature is too low or too high it can harm productivity and, especially in the winter months, can lead to preventable sickness.
Ensuring your workplace’s HVAC system is maintained and in working order can have a positive impact on your business and enhance the productivity of your staff. To maintain a comfortable working temperature, these are some of the key things to consider when installing heating and cooling systems into your workspace design or carrying out maintenance procedures.
It is necessary to carry out a full inspection of your HVAC system and BMS every 1-2 years to ensure that everything is operating as it should. One of the most common causes of breakdowns come from improper checks or failure to inspect your HVAC system. By having a professional perform regular checks, you eliminate the possibility of a malfunction and safeguard your business operations and the building you occupy. You should also be fully aware that you are required by law to keep your workplace within a minimum temperature bracket, and that your systems should be fully compliant in line with EPB regulations.
A comfortable working temperature is vital to productivity in the winter months. You may have a heating system installed, but does it do its job? Does it reach every corner of the workspace? Employee health and wellbeing also need to be considered and keeping the space well ventilated will help colds and bugs from spreading from person to person. Take extra measures to ensure that employees near entry points and windows are comfortable in the winter, and that employees further into the space or in a smaller or secluded location are keeping cool in the summer.
Remember also that the temperature will be one of the first sensory experiences that guest and prospective clients and employees will notice upon entering the building. Whether you know it or not, it will set a tone and could affect important meetings like pitches and interviews.
Installing an efficient HVAC system is all well and good, but you could still be throwing money, quite literally, out the window. Checking the thermal efficiency of your windows and the building itself will help you to decide whether alterations are needed now to save you money in the long term.
If the space is too cold, you can expect your employees to focus more on trying to keep warm than being productive and finding focus. Research from 2013 showed that the optimum temperature for a workspace is 21-22ºC. This was the temperature at which employees were most productive. As soon as temperatures veer away from the 21-22ºC mark, it starts to have a detrimental impact on employees and their work. Aside from creating an uninspired and disgruntled workforce that are worried about the cold, neglecting the working temperature will distract people from work and could lead to a negative atmosphere in the workplace.
It's clear that working temperature is hugely important to a business, affecting costs, operations, and happiness levels. Is your building equipped to handle extreme temperatures?