In 2004, the University of Cornell released the results of some interesting survey work. They had examined the effects of the office temperature on the work habits of those inside. Measuring employee performance and efficiency, and comparing it to the relative temperature of the room. The results were somewhat surprising.
Cool Employees Make Bad Employees
We don’t mean the cool employees with nice hair, and great taste in music. Everyone loves them. We’re strictly speaking about temperature here.
Workers did their best stuff, unsurprisingly, at room temperature. Good old 21 degrees Celsius (71 Fahrenheit). But if that temperature dropped a few degrees to 19 (66 Fahrenheit)? Disaster. At least in terms of efficiency. The study found that typos started to occur with much greater frequency, and the overall efficiency of work in office settings declined rapidly. In terms of cost, Alan Hedge, the man responsible for the study, estimated that the chilled effects on employees could increase the employers wage costs by up to 10%.
That’s a big wage hike for no reason. Raising the thermostat to heat up the office temperature can help, but go too far into the red, and you will run into the same problems. Anything over 25 degrees Celsius will cause workers to slow down and start thinking about how much they wish they had worn an anti-perspirant.
Energy Audits Save Your Money
Fluctuations in temperature aren’t always in your control. This study on temperature was done in an office setting. Obviously this would be much easier to control than a large warehouse, or a busy storefront with lots of open door traffic. Nevertheless, considering what we know about the human body’s finicky response to temperature variation, it is always a good idea to examine your businesses energy efficiency.
Drafty rooms, poor quality windows, or older inefficient heat pumps and thermostats can all contribute to wide variations in office temperature. Knowing where your heat is going, and how to control that, will save you money right away (regardless of how your employees perform).
If we add on the results of improved employee efficiency, an Energy Audit for your business may be one of the best ways to improve your bottom line today. Oh and in case you’re not sure whether to believe the results of those initial tests: They were repeated by Finland’s Helsinki University of Technology with the same results.
If your office is on Vancouver Island, call us as soon as you have the chance, and we can put a stop to all of those unnecessary wage hikes you’ve been paying out.