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Why Does Being Cold Affect Our Productivity In The Workplace?

We’ve talked a bit before about the effects of temperature on workplace productivity in the workplace. It’s just one of the many reasons why you should keep a careful eye on the heating, cooling and ventilation systems in your offices – and if they’re showing signs of not working properly, don’t hesitate to book a service and maintenance as a matter of priority! But, you may be thinking, surely a bit of chill doesn’t make that much of a difference? Well, have we got some news for you…!

The Effects Of Chilliness In The Workplace

In many ways, British employment law is a bit fuzzy on temperature. Technically, there’s no legal minimum temperature, but employers have a duty “to provide a reasonable temperature in the workplace”, which is generally considered to be at least 16oC. Over the years, there have been numerous scientific studies demonstrating the effects of coldness in office environments.


One such study showed that in an average office, when the temperature was at a comfortable 25oC, employees only made a 10% error rate in typing. However, when the temperature was lowered, error rates rose to 25%. Even more recently, another study that used even more drastic differences in temperature found that employees committed 44% more errors in a colder environment, and were less than half as productive. Though the circumstances surrounding each experiment differed, the message is clear – colder offices drastically impact productivity, so looking after your heating and cooling systems is an absolute must.

Why Are We So Susceptible To Cold?

One of the key reasons that the temperature of an office affects our rate of work is reasonably simple – when we’re cold, we’re not just uncomfortable, we’re distracted. When our body temperature drops, it means we’re automatically expending more energy to keep ourselves warm, which leaves less brainpower for the tasks at hand. Concentration, inspiration and insight are the three golden currencies of the modern working world, and they’re resources that colder temperatures immediately deprive us of, leading to a very clear impact on our productivity.

business people temperature

Then there’s the mental side of heating and cooling systems – by turning up the air conditioning too much in colder weather, it makes people feel not just cold physically, but emotionally too. Yet more scientific studies have shown that when people feel chillier, they’re more likely to perceive others as being friendly or caring. This in turn can have an effect on teamwork and communication – a subtle one, yes, but still not something you want affecting your workforce, especially considered alongside the effects of their physical discomfort!

Here at Askews, we have 30 years of experience in looking after heating, cooling and ventilation systems for our customers, which means we can guarantee you a quality service from our expert engineers. Regular service and maintenance is key to the smooth running of your systems, so book yours today by giving us a call on 01282 863 825.

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