Managing employee productivity on any given day can be challenging. When the environmental factors are also unbalanced, the business at hand can suffer even more. Are your employees working in an atmosphere with high-quality air? How are the humidity and the temperature levels? Believe it or not, these things can affect the ability of work that your employees do. Here are three ways that it can happen.
Image via Flickr by Russ Neumeier
You are certain that the air in your workplace is clean. But is it too humid? High humidity elevates condensation. This can make employees uncomfortable. For example, MIT School of Engineering states that increased levels of air moisture tackle your body’s natural ability to cool down. Your sweat evaporates slower than normal and your body temperature rises. Imagine trying to be productive in a work area like that. It is extremely difficult to concentrate. You would crave lower air conditioning to fill the void.
Another disadvantage to high humidity is the development of mold. If the relative humidity where your employees work gets to 60 percent, their air quality diminishes. You may be wondering about the use of a humidifier to eliminate this problem. A basic humidifier will not do the trick. It can actually lead to increased moisture saturation. Humidifiers tend to create large water droplets, which is a magnet for fungi and mold growth. That can lead to toxic mist, which could create lung and respiratory issues for everyone who breathes it in.
Temperatures for Men and Women
Image via Flickr by Jenny Downing
Are there many women in your workplace? Take into consideration that women have a lower metabolic rate than men. What does that mean? Men typically have less body fat than women, therefore women are more affected by cold temperatures. If your office has more women, the thermostat will need to be adjusted to accommodate them. While you determine if approximately 71 degrees is acceptable, ponder the design of the building also. Big windows that allow for lots of sunlight make rooms feel warmer. High ceilings give way to inadequate air distribution, which makes air conditioners and heaters crank out more energy.
Weight and Age
Does it seem logical that employees will be less motivated to work in an environment that exceeds 90 degrees? Yes, and this also applies to working in conditions where it’s under 60 degrees. Sweating versus shivering still equals unfocused employees. Your workers who weigh more than others are apt to get warmer quicker. And, those who have a lower body mass index than normal, tend to get colder quicker. As your staff turns 55 and older, they will be more compromised by cold temperatures. They will prefer a warmer working space so they can be productive.
If you still think using a humidifier is best, make sure it has sophisticated technology that maintains relative humidity. The best level is between 35 and 45 percent. That range keeps mold at bay and helps sinus symptoms in the office. Your employees will benefit from humidifiers that regulate relative humidity fluctuations.