Many of us come into contact with, and reap the benefits of, air conditioning systems on a daily basis – whether it’s at home, or in the office, a vehicle, a shop, a restaurant, etc.
In fact, the air conditioner is one of the most important inventions of modern times, keeping homes, businesses, and critical systems cool.
But have you ever stopped and thought about where air conditioning actually came from? Do you know when it was first used or who introduced it? Thought not….
We’ve all been there, you’re sitting in the office shivering and piling on extra jumpers, whilst everyone else around you is sweating and complaining about how hot it is in there.
The fact is that office temperature wars have been going for decades – we just can’t seem to agree on the ideal temperature.
In fact, a 2015 study found that 42% of people feel that their office is too warm, whilst 56% think that it’s too cold. What’s more, it has been reported that, in the UK, around 2% of all of hours are wasted by battles for climate control, costing the economy over £13 billion each year.
And that’s where air conditioning comes in. Although a good air conditioning system for an office doesn’t have the ability to make all your employees feel ‘just right’ at the same temperature (we can’t work miracles!), it will allow you to control the temperature.
Putting you in total control of the temperature means that, when it’s super-hot outside, you’ll be able to ensure that your employees are kept cool and refreshed, whilst when its cold, you can keep everyone nice and warm.
Once you’ve got control over your office temperature, there are a number of steps you can take to keep everyone happy and overcome ongoing temperature wars…
Ask for feedback
Rather than simply listening to the voices that complain the most, ask everyone in the office to let you know if they are too hot, too cold, or just right. You can then use this information to…
Once you know who’s too hot and who’s too cold, you might find that simply adjusting the workspace will help to resolve the issue, at least to an extent. If someone is constantly too cold, moving them further away from the air conditioning system should help. Likewise, if someone states they are often too hot, moving them closer to the air con should help to cool them down.
It’s all about layers
Ultimately, it’s easier to put layers on to warm up than it is to take them off to cool down. So, if the majority of your team are happy with the temperature aside from a handful who are too cold, encourage them to bring in additional layers, jumpers, or even blankets to wrap themselves up in if they’re feeling the chill.