How Hired Air Conditioning Can Help Create the Right Office Temperature

By: Steve Reeve | Posted: 13th August 2012

Anyone who has ever worked in an unbearably hot and stuffy office environment will know that tempers can often soar. According to a uSwtichForBUSINESS survey, three quarters of workers admit to arguing with colleagues over office temperature control. And when people are arguing, they are not working, being productive.

With the recession already placing huge pressure on UK businesses, the last thing office managers across the country need is for the fixed air con system at their workplace to develop a fault or breakdown during a hot spell.

Unfortunately, so many air conditioning systems at UK offices are old, prone to breaking down, or they simply do not have the capacity to provide the required amounts of cool air (or extra boosts of it) when needed. Hired air conditioning is the answer. The good news for office managers is that renting mobile air con units from an air con specialist is easy, surprisingly affordable, and units can be delivered quickly.

Influences on Office Temperature

When it comes to office temperature, two main influences are at work:

1. An external (climatic) influence – the weather outside, and the heat (or cold) generated by equipment, lighting and from the office staff themselves

And an:

2. Internal (metabolic) influence – the human body’s core temperature level. This varies from day to day, and at different times throughout the day, but only a small fluctuation tends to occur (usually no more than 1.0ºC).

Note: Humans are homeothermic (warm-blooded). Our body temperature is regulated at about 37ºC +/- 1ºC. The thermoregulatory centre in the hypothalamus plays an active role in keeping body temperature in the normal range.

Gender, fat content, clothing, metabolism… all these factors can play a part in getting office workers all hot and bothered, in making them lethargic, tired and short tempered. The obvious solution is to turn up the air con. But this can prove counter-productive, as, if it is not a modern system*, workers can then find themselves shivering at their workstations – unable to perform as efficiently in an environment that is simply too cold, reports Smart Planet.

The solution is to turn to an air con rental specialist: a company experienced in renting air con units to offices of all sizes and layouts. They will know which units are most suitable, and the ones they supply will be state-of-the-art, with modern controls. Conditions for staff at workplaces across the UK have come a long way since the Industrial Revolution (1750 to 1850), when working conditions were unregulated and people were expected to work 12+ hour days, sometimes six days per week, often in sweltering heat. Now workplace temperatures must meet legal requirements – specific guidelines are in place.

The regulatory requirements for workplace temperatures are set by the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. Under the regulations it states that the temperature of indoor workplaces should be “reasonable”. The Approved Code of Practice defines a reasonable temperature indoors as being normally at least 16°C unless the work involves severe physical effort in which case the temperature should be at least 13°C, states the Health & Safety Executive website.

In reality, the ‘ideal’ temperature is almost impossible to provide in most offices: one person’s too hot often being another’s too cold. Most office managers therefore try to meet the needs of the
majority of their office staff, during the working day. A happy workforce is a productive workforce, as the saying goes. And so a comfortable working atmosphere for employees is something employers should always strive to create.

UK office managers who are best placed to do this will have wisely taken the precaution of formulating a contingency plan with the help of a specialist in air conditioning hire (a site survey will be part of the plan). The office manager can enjoy peace of mind knowing, should they ever require air con units in a hurry, their chosen air con specialist (who offers a 24/7, year-round, emergency call-out service) will respond immediately to their urgent call.

Article submitted by Steve Reeve, Sales Director at Andrews Sykes.

Andrews Sykes is the UK's largest specialist air conditioning hire company, with over 25 years’ experience. Andrews Sykes provides professional climate control services to help ensure the temperature in your office is just right.
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Tags: fluctuation, uk businesses, body temperature, office environment, fat content, cool air, three quarters, office workers, core temperature, office staff, hypothalamus, office managers, temperature level