Working in an open plan office has its pros but each year as soon as the temperature rises you can be sure of the debate of the office Aircon!
For some of us feeling hot and toasty with the warm glow of the sun on our faces while we work is ideal. For others keeping cool in the summer is like wishing to be the ice king or queen, rolling around in the snow keeping the body temperature at a respectable heat.
So, at Grasp Ltd. we have decided to put a few considerations into the debate of the office Aircon:
- Increase in temperature produces more perspiration leading to a potential increase in bodily odour… not so nice for those sitting next to you.
- The temperature will likely keep rising in the office as the day progresses, people’s body heat and any computer equipment will help to increase the already hot temperature.
- Germs, germs, germs spread like wildfire through Aircon which will guarantee a number of employees will get bunged up, snotty and have a tickly throat. You can expect a mining mix of blowing of noses, coughing and irritating noises for fellow colleagues.
- Aircon is said to be one of the leading protective factors against heat-related illness. This is particularly useful if you have just walked to work in the blazing heat – any distance in our current climate can cause sun stroke if other precautions are not taken.
- Good news for those with asthma or allergens, Aircon can help filter out airborne pollen and due to lower indoor humidity decrease the growth of dust mites and mould.
- Its said to be much harder to cool down then for someone to put on a jumper to heat themselves up.
- Employees simply work more efficiently when they are not too hot.
Depending on your view there are solutions that can support you:
- If your employee is sitting directly under or near the aircon unit is it possible to move/swap desks?
- Aircon should be set to a comfortable temperature for all, it doesn’t need to feel like a snow blizzard, set a temperature policy to ensure consistent temperature.
- Encourage your employees to respect their colleagues’ views, some people genuinely dislike aircon as it makes them very uncomfortable, this will reduce any conflict and bad vibes.
TUC have called for a maximum workplace temperature of 30C for non-manual work and 27C for manual work. Potentially something, that can be considered as a guideline for employers to abide by with an internal policy however, there is no law stating the maximum working temperature.