Too hot, too cold? Building managers can’t get it right and October is the worst
October’s +/- 8 degree temperature swings are causing havoc for building managers.
Sharing workspaces and facilities is one thing, but office workers and building managers are at odds in deciding the right office temperature. October is proving a bad month so far with temperature swings of plus and minus 8 degrees, 45% of office workers have complained that it’s either too hot or cold.
Monday was hot, Thursday was cold, and Friday hot again. So those who cranked up the heat early in the week are coming into work today to a toasty office on a hot day, and nearly half aren’t happy.
We are all different and a “one size fits all” approach to office temperature does not work. The battle for the thermostat is in the home, the car and now the office.
Modern office buildings are great for team collaboration and building a stimulating environment… but if your tenants are too cold or too hot then you are not satisfying their basic needs so you can expect a very unproductive day. They will not be ”comfortable”.
So, what is comfortable?
Another confusing factor is that what is deemed comfortable for some, may be uncomfortable for others. We have all had experience of a co-worker who is always cold.
A survey by Offices.co.uk found 45% of office workers have complained about the temperature of the office. The survey of 450 tenants found 70% of workers have been unhappy with temperature, a third of people argue with colleagues about the issue more than monthly, one in eight have even admitted to secretly plotting to adjust the thermostat!
Providing a “reasonable” temperature
Either left open plan or divided up – controlling the temperature for each office unit is tricky when they were not intended to be used that way. That combined with the personal side of temperature in a shared environment can be harder to control that building managers think.
Jonathan Ratcliffe from Offices.co.uk says “Striking a balance is a hard task for building managers because temperature is a very personal thing, and a shared office is not a personal space. Both building designers and managers need to be aware of the physical intricacies of a particular building and plan ahead”.
Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 only stipulate that indoor workspaces provide a “reasonable” temperature – so the battle continues.