We don’t live in a tropical paradise here in the UK but when spring and summer hits there is nearly always a few surprises in terms of hot spells. Whether the temperature is at an all-out heatwave level or just a little bit balmy, air conditioners are essential for most office environments or workspaces where many people congregate for a long period of time. Even with the slightest rise in atmospherical temperature, the additional combination of heat from bodies, computers or appliances can fast render a productive working environment uncomfortable. Air conditioning in the workplace is therefore essential regardless of how much we use it.
Unfortunately, many employers feel that air conditioning units are something of a low priority as many believe the frequency of what is perceived as hot weather does not justify the expense of installing an HVAC unit. On the other hand places of work and businesses that already have AC units in place often tend to neglect their maintenance and upkeep which has serious consequences. Air conditioning is essential for promoting a healthy, happy and productive business environment for the following reasons:
It Reduces Pollen In The Air
Pollen allergies affect around 25% of the UK population with reactions ranging from mild to severe. During the hot spring and summer periods) plants secrete pollen into the air so that the wind and warm air can carry it to other plants for fertilisation. When the pollen count is high, traces of it can be found virtually everywhere which makes it very uncomfortable for those with an allergy.
Air conditioning units in the workplace are very effective at filtering the pollen and other airborne allergens out of the environment and producing clean unpolluted air. In terms of sustaining worker productivity, this is priceless as it cuts down the need for workers to calm allergies using antihistamines which can cause heavy drowsiness.
It Makes The Environment More Comfortable
A comfortable employee is more focused and therefore more productive just as a comfortable customer is more likely to happily engage with your business and what you have to offer. An uncomfortable environment is distracting and certainly does not give off a good impression. There is also hard evidence to suggest that excessive levels of heat cause a rise in the human stress hormone cortisol which can affect mood and contribute to the rise in workplace conflicts and arguments. We all know that sitting with a shirt soaked in sweat is very uncomfortable and can also create an odour, the added stress and physical discomfort is not pleasant and will most certainly impact an individual’s ability to focus.
Dehydration Is Slowed Down
The effects of dehydration on focus, productivity and clear thinking are well documented and if you are caught in an extended hot snap with no air conditioning system your employees or customers will perspire as their bodies attempt to self-cool. Sweating is will cause someone to dehydrate very quickly whilst also causing them to lose valuable electrolytes, minerals and salts. This has a devastating impact on cognitive performance and scientists have found that even mild dehydration (2% dehydration) has a negative impact on a person’s ability to complete complex tasks
Consider the number of occupations where attention to detail is key. When you start to imagine the financial implications of a payroll clerk making a wrong calculation, dehydration becomes very serious. Air conditioning helps avoid accelerated dehydration by cooling us during hot weather so that we don’t reach the point where our hypothalamic response is to sweat.
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