Study Reveals Ideal Workplace Temperature

cold-1293305_960_720At what temperature is your workplace’s thermostat set? It may sound insignificant, but there’s new evidence suggesting that the temperature of a workplace will affect workers’ productivity.

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad found that workers are more productive in environments where the temperature is properly controlled. The study, titled “Heat Stress and its effects on Psychological Aspects of Workers,” indicates that worker productivity is increased by up to 12% when the temperature is just right. For the study, professors Dheeraj Sharma and Rajesh Chandwani and their team of colleagues scoured through data on 175 factories throughout India, paying close attention to the correlation between workplace temperatures and worker productivity.

So, what did they discover? Researchers from this study claim that the optimal temperature range for increased productivity in the workplace is 77 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. They say that most factories in India operate at temperatures higher than 86 degrees, increasing worker stress and the problems it brings. By maintaining a suitable temperature within the 77 to 86-degree range, however, workers are more comfortable; thus, they are able to produce more work in less time, increasing overall productivity in the workplace.

Researchers went on to say that air conditions are not the best solution for cooling workplaces due to their drying effects on the skin. Air conditioning systems cause skin dryness, which in turn may increase the risk of injury and worker irritation.

With the Centre emphasising on the growth of manufacturing sector through the Make In India initiative, we need to pay more attention to the effect of increasing temperatures on worker productivity and health,” said Dheeraj Sharma, one of the study’s lead authors. “Our study attempts to quantify the improvement in productivity that can be gained through establishment of cooling solutions at indoor workplaces. According to our study, worker productivity can be enhanced by up to 12 per cent by increasing the level of thermal comfort at workplace. The optimal temperature for worker performance may vary.”

So, does this mean your company will experience a 12% increase in productivity by maintaining a temperature of 77 to 86 degrees? Not necessarily, as no two workplaces are the same. However, other studies have also found a direct link between environmental comfort and productivity. If a workplace is uncomfortable for its workers, it will naturally suffer from lower productivity. This is why it’s important for employers to closely monitor the thermostat, offering a safe and comfortable environment for workers.

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