It is fair to say that the UK is not known for its air conditioning. In years gone by it was certainly not a requirement as the weather generally did not call for it. Recent years however have seen summer temperatures rising and whilst there is a legal limit for how low a temperature can drop in an office there is currently no upper limit. This means that effectively an employer could choose to insist their employees continue to work in very high temperatures. Read here for why offices need air conditioning.
The question is should air conditioning be prioritised in UK offices to create a more productive work environment? Is it worth it across the country, from Cambridge to Glasgow? Here we look at the reasons why?
- Employee Comfort and Well-being: It is obvious that an uncomfortable employee is not going to work to their best ability. If temperatures rise productivity will decline, people get uncomfortable, tired, and irritable. This can make it very difficult to concentrate and results in unhappy employees who may consider alternative employment.
- Employee Health Benefits: Air conditioning does not just cool the air, it also filters removing dust, pollen, and other pollutants. This process much improves the quality of air inside the office which is incredibly important for staff with allergies or breathing difficulties. Additionally, of course filtered air helps prevent the spread of germs and viruses which results in employee absence.
- Increased Productivity: Productivity is key to work output, making a huge difference to billable hours, product sales or services. Hot employees can lose focus and become inattentive. Studies have found that companies with air-conditioned offices experience higher levels of work output and quality of service.
- Client Appealing: A cool office is often a calm one, appearing much more professional to all important clients. Whilst online meetings remain prevalent, more and more companies are getting back to face-to-face meetings and meeting in a hot sticky office is just not desirable. In short, air-conditioned offices give a far better impression and provide for a much better personal experience.
- Improved Cognitive Abilities: It is no surprise that if you are hot your cognitive abilities are impaired, you are unable to concentrate as you normally would. Your ability to make important decisions will definitely be impacted. Ensuring an optimal indoor temperature ensures individuals perform at their best and make the best judgement calls.
- Staff Retention: Recent years have seen an increase in competition in the UK job market. It is much harder these days to recruit top candidates and to keep them. This has led to enhanced incentives in many areas which have added to staff costs significantly. Providing a cool, calm professionally air-conditioned office is therefore an added benefit, it demonstrates that the company values the comfort and wellbeing of their team.
- Climate Change: There is significant concern about climate change around the globe, temperatures are rising, and weather variants are now common, this includes the United Kingdom. Professional air-conditioning helps protect the business against the effects of climate change. Offering increased comfort and care for the people who make our business tick.
Without a doubt professional installation of air-conditioning systems should be factored into UK office environments. The benefits to both the company and the employees are immense, simply put the benefits far outweigh the costs and associated disruption during the installation.