Although it may seem insignificant to the uninitiated, office temperature and humidity levels go hand-in-hand with productivity and business growth. Although workers have varying comfort levels and may be able to adapt to any environment, if need be, adapting your office to your employees makes a lot more sense. Below, we will discuss how to monitor indoor temperature and humidity levels with the most practical indoor thermometer and hygrometer for your office.
Positive and Negative Effects of Temperature on Office Productivity
If it is too hot or too cold in the office, it can create health risks. The colder temperatures force the body to allocate more resources for the immune system. This can lead to fatigue and can also cause employees to slow down their thought processes. It is hard to concentrate when you feel uncomfortable and can reduce productivity by 50 percent or more.
If it is too hot in the office, employees may feel bogged down by the heat and irritated. Heatwaves are known to make people irritable and will limit their activity levels to prevent escalation of internal temperature. If your employees are sweating, this can also lead to unpleasant body odors and accidental watermarks on documents.
When employees feel comfortable at just the right temperature, they don’t worry about anything other than completing the tasks assigned to them. This ensures optimal productivity and sparks innovation. Employees who are comfortable enjoy coming to work and working longer hours on a salary. Furthermore, the employees will be retained by a company to secure a position and limit turnover.
Positive and Negative Effects of Humidity on Office Productivity
Humidity is important for office comfort because it conditions the air and creates a different perception of office temperatures. When the air is too muggy, employees can feel suffocated and like they are drowning in it. This can make them irritable and psychologically inhibited. High humidity levels hold in the heat better and can make 68 degrees feel more like 80 degrees.
By contrast, air that is too dry can make employees susceptible to pathogens by drying out their mucous membranes. It can also make them susceptible to nosebleeds and chronic respiratory or sinus issues. And because the heat quickly dissipates in dry air, employees may feel chilly even at ideal room temperatures. This wastes energy as employees try to get comfortable by raising the thermostat alone.
If the air is too thin, this can also make it easier for pathogens to transfer through the air. A dense air creates a more effective barrier and can limit the spread of germs when workers sneeze and cough. This is why viruses and colds spread so easily in the winter, especially in indoor office settings.
The greatest benefit that you may obtain from dialing in the perfect humidity levels is a decrease in sickness. When workers are sick, they obviously won’t perform as effectively. They may also be forced to take sick days when your business is busy around the holidays. If these workers are working on salary, that is a big chunk of change lost to excusable workdays.
If the humidity levels are too dry, this can create a type of chronic sickness that is not much different than a cold or flu. People who work in Las Vegas, for example, can be affected by Vegas-throat and may feel as if they are sick and overwhelmed with physical discomfort. Living in any desert region has the potential for unhealthy drying of sinuses and mucous membranes.
What are the Recommended Temperatures and Humidity Level for Office
The best humidity and temperature for office is not always cut and dry. There is no single temperature that everyone feels the most comfortable at because everyone is different as we explain in the next section. Nevertheless, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration suggest that offices maintain room temperatures in the range of 68 to 76 degrees Fahrenheit. They also recommend a humidity level between 20 and 60 percent.
A healthy office temperature and humidity level may even change throughout the year because cold drafts can be more pronounced in the winter. And if workers are coming in and out during the summer, they may appreciate a slightly cooler temperature to help them reach their optimal regulation temperature faster.
Why There are Endless Debates over Optimal Office Temp & Humidity
There is no universal office climate that everyone will feel comfortable in all of the time. Each person has a different threshold for heat and humidity. A good analogy is that some people are more sensitive to sunlight, for example, and burn easily. People who are overweight, as another example, can find themselves uncomfortable when it gets too hot because the extra body mass insulates them. Nevertheless, even this is not universal because some people have poor temperature regulation due to medications, genetics, or other factors.
Factors that Contribute to Climate Tolerance:
- Body mass
- Activity level
- Genetic predispositions
Office temperatures can also be affected by ceiling fans. Because hot air rises, a ceiling fan that is set to blow the air downward can help to even the temperatures across the room. This is one of those small elements of office comfort that you should never neglect. Even in the wintertime, you should have good air circulation to blow the heat downwards. In the summertime, you can reverse the polarity of your ceiling fan by a simple flick of the switch to draw the cold air up from the floor.
The quality of your HVAC system can also be a big factor. If the filter hasn’t been changed in a while or the ductwork is dusty, the quality of the air distribution can be uneven. Although they are now coming out with multi-zone systems that allow you to dial in the right temperature for each room or region of an office building, the HVAC system can be overworked and unreliable if it is not properly maintained.
In addition, if workers are near windows or drafts, this can create a lot of discomfort. Although installing mini blinds can help each office control the sunlight penetration that affects temperature, not every office has the luxury of separate office spaces.
If your employees work in cubicles, they may have to make more individual adjustments with attire by wearing lightweight Merino wool to regulate temperature better or a hat. A hat has an enormous effect on body temperature regulation because so much heat is lost from the top of your head. Allowing workers to wear winter hats or any hats may solve problems when workers claim that they feel chilled and save you money in heating bills.
Solutions to Finding the Most Suitable Temperature and Humidity in Office
Although it is easy to dial in a comfortable level based on your own experience in the office, you may have to fine-tune it to appease everyone. However, finding a comfortable working temperature and humidity in an active and spacious office is different than a cramped cubicle office where people are chiefly at rest and sitting. This is because office activity level is such a weighty factor. It is much easier for people to get comfortable when they are active and on the go. Try some of the tips below.
- Take an office opinion poll
- Empower employees with office blinds for control
- Designate a uniform attire for work
- Adjust levels for each seasonal change
- Block off drafts
- Feel free to experiment
Office Tip: How to Monitor the Temperature & Humidity in Your Workspace
If you are struggling to find the best humidity and temperature conditions, you may want to invest in advanced tools that make it easy. The ThermoPro’s wireless indoor/outdoor thermometers and hygrometers provide the optimal solution. These state-of-the-art devices are inexpensive and offer an instant solution for dialing in the right figures.
The thermometers and hygrometers have multiple outdoor sensors to ensure accuracy and an indoor sensor. The jumbo display simultaneously displays temperature and humidity levels. It even tracks and records the last 24 hours of temperature and humidity readings to get the full picture. Best of all, the penetration of the wireless signal allows the signal to pass through walls.
Although it may seem like a small and inconsequential element, office temperature and humidity are something that affect your workers throughout each workday. You can imagine how unproductive you can become in the wrong environment. You may not want to type if your hands feel frozen or do anything if it is hot and muggy outside.
Treating your employees how you would like to be treated is the right way to run a business. This allows you to develop and retain talent and can even lower your energy bills in the process. For the small investment required, it only makes dollars and sense to invest in a device that monitors these levels to help you control them all year round. And below are some good monitors that I strongly recommend you to use:
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