Air conditioning systems are common items in almost every offices you go to today. And it’s common practice to see workers turn up their cooling systems every time. Contrary to the popular belief that this is good for workers’ productivity, several research has proven this to be untrue.
Too much air conditioning negatively affects productivity. It’s been proven that humans are inefficient in the cold. After working for two different companies – and several offices -- before becoming a digital entrepreneur and consultant, I can tell you that this is true.
Before you go on listing the benefits of air conditioning – comfort, stable temperature, humidity control and others – you need to know that a lot of people don’t know how to properly set these up. And this single fact is causing more harm than good to your productivity and even to your health.
One thing I observed in almost all the offices I worked in is that the temperature of the room is always wrong. It’s either too cold or too hot. And most of the workers don’t know the right temperature to use during different times of the day. This really affects productivity negatively as many workers are either murmuring about the heat or shaking because of the cold instead of working.
A study on the impact of thermal conditions on the productivity of workers at the workplace found that setting the temperatures of air-conditioning systems at different points during different periods of the day will improve your productivity. The five tasks performed by these workers are calculation, typing, proof-reading, simple quick reaction, and concentration-needed reaction.
The temperature ranges suggested for air-conditioning systems are 26 °C–28 °C for morning periods and 24.5 °C–26 °C for afternoon and evening periods. This is because these temperature settings increased the workers’ productivity by 18%, 1% to 15%, and 7% in the morning, afternoon, and evening periods respectively.
So, how do you match the temperature of your workplace so as to boost your productivity?
#1. Switch off your air conditioning systems when necessary
You might find it very cool to have your air conditioning system on every time in your office but it’s very uncool if you leave it on when not necessary. There are certain time of the seasons when you don’t need an extra cool air. You air conditioning system shouldn’t be on during winter except in special cases. This will save you money on electricity bills which can be used for other productive things.
#2. Educate yourself on the controls of your air conditioning system
Technology has made life very easy. At the same time, it can also complicate life when you don’t master its usage.
Modern air conditioning systems are automated and can be pre-adjusted to your preference. You can easily automate different temperatures for different times of the day as recommended above. To take full advantage of this, you need to take time to study its manual which will guide you on how to properly use your system.
#3. Use light-coloured finishes
Black and other dark colours are known to absorb heat. So, instead of using black as your interior finishes, you can opt for light-coloured finishes. This will reduce the heat generated in your workplace.
#4. Put on light clothes
The cool biz dress campaign was started in Japan as a way to reduce Japanese electric consumption in 2005 and to limit the use of air conditioning. Over the years, countries like South Korea, Britain and the United Nations has successfully launched their cool biz campaigns.
The cool biz concept encourages workers to wear casual and light clothes to their workplace. Putting on light clothes to your workplace will limit your use of the air conditioning system which reduces the amount of CO2 emissions to the environment. Before you choose to turn on your cooling system, there are several ways to keep your cool when the heat rises.
Doing all these will help you make sure that your workplace temperature is not affecting your productivity in the long run.