By Martin Hart on Thu 05 March 2020
When businesses think of strategies to improve productivity they often think of things like incentives, upgrades to technology or changes to salary. The quality of the air in the workplace will rarely come up and even if it did it would be pretty far down the list of priorities. Air quality has a direct impact on health which largely affects how well a person can work. Things like temperature, humidity and pollutants have a substantial impact on a workforce’s productivity so air quality should definitely be one of a business’s priorities.
Everyone feels like they work a little less when it's too warm or too cold but what are the facts surrounding this? A recent survey done on the effects of temperature on productivity found that it summer when the air was warmer projects take 13% longer to complete, attendance drops by 18%, productivity is reduced by 20% and people are 45% more distracted.
Research has also gone into which temperatures are best for working too. It was found that the ideal temperature for doing work is between 21 and 22°C, with productivity dropping after an increase or decrease in temperature. In temperatures of above 30 or 35°C a person's productivity drops to just 90 or 80%, respectively. In temperatures colder than 21°C people start to make more mistakes and illnesses increase.
Because of its affect on how healthy and comfortable a person is, temperature is regulated by the Health and Safety Executive through guidelines they've released. They state that in a workplace, temperature should stay between 16 and 30°C, or as low as 13°C in an area where physical activity needs to take place.
Humidity is linked to temperature because it is harder for our bodies to regulate heat when there is a high humidity. If it is particularly humid, sweat evaporates much slower, stopping us from getting rid of heat and making the air feel much heavier. A 30°C temperature with a low humidity may be pretty comfortable, but with an increase of humidity the same temperature will seem unbearable.
The best temperature to aim for is around 40% all year round. In summer when the humidity is high it is best to use a dehumidifier or an air conditioner to take some of the water out of the air. In winter you may have to do the opposite and out moisture back into the air to stop people feeling cold and getting dry skin.
Although it isn't commonly known, air pollution has a significant impact on a workforce's productivity. Research found that when common sources of air pollution were removed from a room, or the supply of clean outdoor air was increased, productivity was significantly improved. Even when the air pollution isn't perceptible to humans, it still has an effect on how well we can work.
Added to this, air pollution has a significant effect on an individual's health, meaning that when air pollution is present the absences in a workplace increase.
Improving Your Workplace's Air Quality
Thankfully, there's an easy way to get your air quality to ideal levels. Having an air ducting system will allow for clean outside air to be blown into your building to replace the air that is already in there. The outside air is naturally pollutant free and usually cooler and less humid than indoor air so this will get your air quality back to normal. Using air ducts to keep your air quality the best that it can be will work for most of the year and will keep your employees productive. In the summer months when the air outside will often be warmer than the inside, an air conditioning unit will be the best way to keep the humidity and temperature at comfortable levels.
Here at Hart Wholesale we are experienced suppliers to the hardware and manufacturing trade so we know a thing or two about getting the things our clients need to them quickly. We supply a range of ducting systems, including the high quality Domus ducting, so that you can regulate your air quality in the best way possible for you. If you'd like more information about what we can provide don't hesitate to contact us on 01702 614044 and a member of our team will help you with your enquiries.