Getting employee feedback into what makes them comfortable can increase production, retention and motivation.

When the climate of a workspace is agreeable, employees tend to be more comfortable both physically and mentally which leads to them also being more productive and satisfied with their job. When employees feel prioritized in such manners it promotes retention rates, motivation and overall company success. However, creating this optimal indoor space takes careful consideration. Every employee has a different preference and tolerance for heat and cool air, so choosing a temperature backed by science and data is essential.

The Science and Data

Several scientific studies have delved into the correlation between room temperature and productivity (as defined by reading speed and comprehension, learning, word memory, multiplication speed, signal recognition, time to respond to signals, and typing speed). One survey in particular shows that performance increases when temperatures are between 60-72° F and decreases with temps above 73-75° F. The optimal productivity level is found at 71.6° F where employees tend to feel most comfortable, allowing them to focus on tasks and remain more motivated throughout the workday.

Choosing the Ideal Temperature for a Workspace

There are no regulations in place that requires a specific temperature in workplaces, but choosing a comfortable temperature for employees has many benefits. The OSHA Technical Manual, recommends temperature control in the 68-76° F range and humidity control in the range of 20%-60%. Whether you choose to use the data-backed temperature of 71.6° F or one within the 68-76° F range, I encourage you to use open communication and allow employees to make minor adjustments when possible.

Using science to find the optimal indoor climate for your workspace can positively affect your employees and your bottomline.

Why Room Temperature Effects Performance

Both warm and cold temperatures can cause the body and mind to slow down. This slowdown is due to thermoregulation, the process by which the body attempts to maintain an internal temperature within a narrow range. This natural physiological response protects the body from hyperthermia and hypothermia. However, the body responds even when external temperatures aren’t a severe threat. Maintaining an ideal room temperature allows employees to think more clearly, solve problems efficiently, and make better decisions because less energy is expended when their body temperature doesn’t require internal regulation.

Other Workspace Environment Considerations

  • White Noise: Choosing a quiet system is ideal for most workspaces. Many find the sound of fans so soothing that it can cause sleepiness, while others find the sound distracting or irritating.
  • Humidity: High humidity levels make a space feel warmer and, therefore, can contribute to fatigue in the workplace (and in general). High humidity can also reduce indoor air quality and pose the risk of health concerns for employees as it fosters an environment where mold and bacteria thrive. Conversely, air that is too dry can cause irritated skin, eyes, and throat, distracting employees. Low humidity levels can also increase static electricity, which can disrupt employees’ ability to use electronics.
  • Ventilation: A lower ventilation rate can cause higher concentrations of carbon dioxide, which has been shown to lead to fatigue, headaches, and poor performance and reaction times.

As you seek to optimize your office space, please keep these HVAC considerations in mind. In doing so, you’ll be one step closer to creating a workplace where productivity and creativity flourish. As a business owner myself, I know how essential employee satisfaction and productivity are to success.

I hope you found this article helpful and look forward to continuing to ensure your comfort and safety. Thank you for choosing CPS.

If you are in need of more information or would like to schedule a free consultation, you can reach us at 508-460-6691 or fill out this form.