The ergonomics and aesthetics of a working environment are often critical factors in the success and productivity of the average office. A major aspect of creating a comfortable and healthy working environment is ambient office temperature, something that can be easily achieved with the appropriate office air conditioning system.
It’s not just about the law, it’s about your staff
There is an increased awareness that in the UK, employers are legally obliged to provide “reasonable” temperatures in the workplace. There is no fixed optimum temperature under UK law, but it is up to the company to discern what temperature is most appropriate for the work environment and the type of work carried out. That said, there are many more reasons why companies and organisations should invest in office air conditioning, above and beyond ensuring legal compliance.
Air conditioning systems – especially during hotter weather – have historically helped to cut absenteeism in the workplace. And controlling the ambient temperature during periods of both cooler and hotter conditions has proven to help raise and maintain productivity. In fact, links have been made between mean annual temperatures and productivity per head; so it stands to reason that if you find a way of maintain an optimum temperature, your business will reap the rewards.
Air conditioning doesn’t just cool and heat air – it can also dehumidify air, helping to keep staff, customers and clients cool and comfortable. In extreme circumstances such as heatwaves, air conditioning is actually beneficial for some workers’ health needs. This is because air conditioning systems have been proven to help reduce the incidence of respiratory problems, cardiovascular issues and other health concerns that can be exacerbated by prolonged exposure to hot and humid conditions.
Office Air Conditioning – The Challenges of Maintaining Optimum Conditions
The process of cooling air has become much more energy efficient; in the past 30 years, rigorous standardising of air conditioning units has meant that energy efficiency in air conditioning systems has doubled. This, together with thoughtful building design – has meant that creating a comfortable office environment is less costly than in previous decades.
But as office workers have become more reliant on technology, the heat output from desktop computers, photocopiers, printers and other ‘standard’ electrical office equipment has also increased. This is particularly the case in offices and commercial buildings that incorporate ‘server rooms’ where machines are in constant operation, and in need of constant cooling.
And although computers, in line with air conditioning systems, are becoming more energy efficient, during the summer months especially there is often a need to regulate office temperatures due to these “external” factors. Choosing the right air conditioning unit for your office – as well as providing adequate staff training on the correct usage of the system – will allow this regulation to be carried out almost effortlessly.