If you own your own business or have the responsibilities of upper management in a larger corporate environment, you understand the importance of employee satisfaction and productivity. With the sweltering days of summer are only beginning in South Florida, what does this mean for businesses? Does the sunshine equate to employee happiness and increase productivity? Or does sweating and discomfort cause your company’s productivity to plummet? Will a little bit of commercial air conditioning go a long way?
It’s not surprising that this is not the first time these questions have been asked. Researchers as early as the 1950s began looking at the effects climate control had in corporate environments. Originally intended for the benefit of office equipment and machinery such as paper presses, it was easy to see the impact air conditioning had on employees.
Research shows that increases in temperature in the workplace result in sleepy, lethargic employees with severe dips in concentration capacities; this carries hugely negative consequences for business not just in baseline productivity but likelihood for mistakes and decreased customer satisfaction. An economist from Yale University, William Nordhaus found a 12-fold increase in economic productivity with cooler, controlled temperatures as compared to those of equal job status in hotter climates around the world.
Although dropping the temperatures seems tempting now, remember that an office that is too cold isn’t comfortable either. In 2010, Hedge et al conducted research varying office environments trying to map productivity. They noticed a decrease in employee output and increase in keystroke mistakes most significantly in the coldest group (low-70s); but also in the mid-80s. It was hypothesized that the cold made workers distracted and more concerned with warming up – making coffee, walking around or rubbing their hands together. Workers in an office at 78F worked at twice the efficiency of the other groups.
Some research has cited directly correlating increased mortality from cardiovascular and respiratory disease and rising temperatures. The have also found increased levels of frustration, stress and exhaustion; collectively increasing the incidence and severity of mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety.
The technology in your offices will also benefit from cooler temperatures. Adequate cooling means less costs on technological repairs or replacements due to humidity and moisture damage. Cooler machinery also means employees can interact with it unhindered – as equipment that is being kept cool and is running smoothly has less risk of being an occupational heating hazard and results in a net increase in productivity.
Simply having a commercial air conditioning unit isn’t enough as improperly installed or poorly maintained units can also lead to health problems. From minor complaints like dry eyes or chapped lips to respiratory illnesses like ‘Sick Building Syndrome’, good quality air supplied by a well-maintained system is a must as it can prevent these productivity pinchers from appearing in your business.
Maintaining the best environment for your employees and your business’ economy may mean installing a commercial air conditioning system. There are many variations and a professional AC company, like Art Plumbing, AC and Electric, should be consulted before fitting. Some of the most basic features you should consider: type, size and maintenance.
Consider the number employees you have, the energy output of your equipment and the typical office hours you would need to keep it running for.
Choose a system that correlates with the size of your office space. Larger systems may not necessarily mean more efficient cooling, just higher energy consumption. On the other hand, a unit that is too small may never achieve adequate cooling for your employees or equipment.
Regular maintenance equals a healthy air conditioning unit, healthy employees and healthy equipment. It will also lengthen the lifespan of your air conditioning unit, decrease unnecessary energy consumption and running costs, and reduce the frequency of costly interim repairs.
It is clear to see that a comfortable working environment equals a productive working unit. Stable, comfortable office temperatures are often associated with the highest efficiency for both employees and equipment – the kind of control only awarded by commercial air conditioning systems. In business since 1983 as licensed and insured professionals, Art Plumbing, AC and Electric provides unrivalled and guaranteed experience, expertise and service. If you have any questions about commercial air conditioning – installations, maintenance or evaluations, don’t break a sweat – contact us today!
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