Employees blow hot and cold on office temperature

Less than a quarter of office workers find the temperature in their office comfortable, research finds.


Less than a quarter of office workers find the temperature in their office comfortable, research finds.

More than a third of respondents to a survey by One Poll suggest they take at least ten minutes out of work each day due to temperature alone.

The study of 2,000 office workers between 18 and 60 aimed to gauge how temperature affects people’s workday, with the results pointing to a general sense of dissatisfaction around temperature.

Only 24 per cent agree that their office is an ideal temperature for working throughout the year.

Some 29 per cent of people surveyed estimate they spend between ten and 30 minutes each working day not productive due to an uncomfortable office temperature with 6 per cent believing they spend more than half an hour each day not working well for this reason.

This means that an office of 100 people will have at least eight hours wasted each day, due to the temperature alone.

Helen Pedder, head of human resources for ClearSky HR says that, whether temperatures soar or plummet, unbearable office conditions can have a serious impact on employee health and wellbeing.

‘Unfortunately the law is left open to misinterpretation by simply stating that employers must provide a ‘reasonable’ workplace temperature,’ she adds.

Until health and safety guidance provides clear and coherent requirements, there are various steps that an employer can take to prevent a dip in productivity and performance. Relaxing dress code requirements where appropriate and providing heating and/or cooling devices are effective methods that help to regulate thermal comfort.’

East Anglia was found to be the region where employees are most likely to complain about the temperature, with 46 per cent of them complaining to colleagues and 32 per cent having complained to management.

Workers in the South West complain to colleagues less than the rest of the UK, with 34 per cent facing up to grumbling. Residents of Northern Ireland were found to be least likely to complain to management, with only 12 per cent having done so.

Further reading on office conditions

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of SmallBusiness.co.uk from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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