Benefit Research

Air Conditioning productivity researchWhy Climate Control? The Research

Higher productivity, lower absenteeism and improved staff morale… the research is clear

There have been many studies showing the benefit of ideal working conditions for staff in an office or within the retail environment.

Outside of the 16°C and 24°C comfort zone, stress levels can increase and performance and productivity decrease. Furthermore, poor air quality may lead to low morale and a higher rate of sickness amongst employees. Air Conditioning can solve both these problems – it will cool and freshen a stuffy environment and/or heat a cold one.

HSE Regulations  Workplace Obligations

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) regulates the law on health and safety at work. It places a legal obligation on employers to provide a ‘reasonable’ temperature in the indoor workplace under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. Employers must make a suitable assessment of the risks to the health and safety of their employees, and take action where necessary and where reasonably practicable under The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Acas have further information on working temperatures here.

The HSE have frequently asked questions on temperature in the workplace here.

Key Points

  • The minimum or maximum temperature is not stated by law as to what it should be.
  • A ‘reasonable’ temperature in the workplace should be provided by employers.
  • The temperature in the workplace is a potential hazard that employers should address. They should have a risk assessment for the health and safety of their employees to assess and control risks in the workplace.  This will need to include in any assessment the risks of outdoor working.

Did you know?

air conditioning productivity study

When it’s hot..

A NASA study found that at an effective temperature of 85 degrees there was an 18% loss in work output and a 40% loss in accuracy.

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration  suggests a work environment with a high temperature can reduce productivity by up to 20 minutes in every hour.

When it’s cold…

Cornell University discovered that an office temperature of 68 degrees or less increased on-the job error by 44%. The estimate suggests that this could increase hourly labour costs by 10%.