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Posted on 04 Aug 2014 in: Useful Tips & Guides

Keep your cool this summer!

Air conditioning in the working environment has become common place in recent years and not just for the privileged corporates any more. It comes as standard in new build office premises and is increasingly being retro fitted into older commercial properties. Many of us couldn’t contemplate working in a stuffy office during the hot summer months without air conditioning, but is it good for you? Does it have an impact on the health of your employees? Let us have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of office air conditioning…

Keeping your staff cool this summer will increase their productivity

Keeping your staff cool this summer will increase their productivity

Advantages:

Too hot or too cold – staff productivity decreases significantly if people are fighting to keep warm or cool down. With air conditioning, the room temperature can be controlled to provide an ambient atmosphere that is conducive to working and does not hinder performance

If you’re too hot, you don’t feel active so if your employees are required to be on their feet most of the day, ensuring they are comfortable is essential if you want them to be as physically productive as they can

A good air conditioning system means cleaner air so less pollutants such as pollen or dust mites to aggravate allergy sufferers

Dehydration risks are reduced as people don’t sweat in regulated temperatures. Dehydration leads to lack of productivity and illness so hydrated staff is a must

A well maintained air conditioning system renews and improves the quality of air that we breathe at work making us generally feel better and happier

Air conditioners also dehumidifies the air which prevents mold and mildew build-up, mainly suffered in older, less ventilated properties. Not only does mold and damp affect people, your paint will discolour and wallpaper peel making your offices look unappealing

Modern air conditioning systems run without noise and draughts so they do not distract people from their tasks

Humidity levels are typically lower in air conditioned buildings which results in the prolonged life of your electronic equipment as well

New systems are very energy efficient and low cost to run so the financial implication is far outweighed by the benefits your staff gain

 

Disadvantages:

Air conditioning can have a drying effect on the skin, mucous membranes and eyes which can lead to your staff being uncomfortable or irritated

There is a noise associated with the air conditioning units, even if low, which may annoy some

If your system does not allow for individual room regulation, finding a temperature that everyone is happy with my prove difficult

In extreme cases, and usually in poorly maintained systems, major health risks such as Legionnaires disease can be found and infectious respiratory diseases can be transmitted if the building is not properly ventilated. However, a good air conditioning company should ensure this is not a problem for you

Scientific evidence is inconclusive as to whether there is a direct correlation between air conditioning and illness but people do report suffering due to air conditioning

Older systems may contain now banned substances such as R22 which are harmful to the environment. This means they should be checked by a professional company and replaced with newer, safer, compliant units

 

On the whole, as our climate warms up and our summers get hotter, many of your staff simply won’t work to the best of their ability if they are not comfortable at work. Air conditioning provides the best means of regulating temperature from a central point or in individual rooms depending on your system and for the most part, your employees will thank you for being cool!

 

 

"Image courtesy of panpote / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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