There are many potential causes of stress in the workplace but one has to be office temperature.
If it’s too hot, you can’t concentrate, you get a headache, and you feel generally irritated and uncomfortable. If it’s too cold, you still can’t concentrate, your hands hurt from the cold, and you’re super-uncomfortable again. Neither is a productive picture.
So, what is the answer? You need to find a happy medium that suits your entire office but that isn’t easy given that some people may run hot, some may run cold, and others fluctuate between the two!
Workplace stress is a major issue for all offices but by having an ambient temperature you’re adding comfort to your employees’ working days and they’re not going to sit at their office desks sweating or shivering.
So, what is the right temperature?
The UK Government advise that indoor workplace temperatures should be “reasonable”. But, there is no actual set guideline on what is too hot or too cold. Yet, most agree that 16 degrees minimum is reasonable for office workers. As far as maximum temperature are concerned, there is guidance there either. Not helpful, we know!
But, as a manager you can generally feel what the office is like and you can ask your employees how they feel about the temperature in general. Of course, some will say it’s fine and others will say it’s hot but you have to go with the majority in that case. Then, look at cooling and warming mechanisms, such as air conditioning, fans, opening more windows, heating, etc.
In some ways, it’s a bit of a trial and error approach but once you get it right, you’ll notice that everyone is more comfortable, less stress, and more productive as a result. For those employees who are still too hot regardless of the temperature (there’s usually one or two), then you could have individual desk fans in place.
While we may not be able to completely eradicate stress from every single office, we can do a lot to reduce it and create a comfortable environment. Focusing upon temperature and making sure some fresh air is making its way into the office is a great starting point.