22. 8. 2023
5 tips for maintaining an optimal workplace temperature
Many factors play a role in creating a comfortable and productive work environment. One of them is temperature, the ability to ensure thermal comfort all year round. Inadequately heated or overly hot offices, retail spaces or production halls not only negatively impact employee comfort and performance, but they also make visitors and customers uncomfortable. Our tips will help you ensure that your workplace is at the optimum temperature according to expert recommendations. They agree that the ideal workplace temperature should be between 21 and 23 °C.
Although Czech legislation does not directly stipulate a specific minimum or maximum workplace temperature for different types of premises, it is generally based on the type of work being done on-site. The government regulation divides work activities, ranging from Class I to Class V. For example, office work falls into Class I (22 °C) while standing or walking activities involving carrying loads belong in Class II (less than 20 °C). The higher the class, the more physically demanding the work and therefore the lower the specified temperature. For the two highest classes, a temperature is no longer set, but employees must wear gloves to protect against the cold when the temperature is below 4 °C. They have the right to take safety breaks in a warming room when the temperature is below 10 °C.
So how can we ensure the best possible thermal comfort in the workplace?
Perhaps the most commonly used aid today is air conditioning. It is used to regulate the temperature in the workplace in modern offices and commercial premises as well as in production facilities. Depending on the season, the temperature is usually set between 20-26 °C for sedentary work and slightly lower for manual work. The reason the range is so large is that individual comfort is largely determined by the outside temperature. Whereas in summer, when it can be extremely hot outside, a workplace temperature of 22 °C may be perceived as too cold. In winter, when temperatures are below zero, 20 °C may seem warm enough. At the same time, care should be taken to ensure that the difference between outside and inside temperatures does not exceed a 5-6 °C range.
Shading elements, whether blinds, shutters or curtains, are also helpful in summer and winter. While in summer they prevent direct sunlight from entering the room and thus warming up the space to unbearable temperatures, in winter you can just open them and an invite in the mood-boosting rays. Window films that are designed to reduce glare and block harmful UV rays are also becoming popular.
Proper ventilation also helps maintain the right temperature in the workplace. It is advisable to ventilate briefly and vigorously, i.e. open windows or doors fully, as the air in the room moves around more quickly, but no heat or cold escapes from the space unnecessarily. The exception to this is buildings with central air conditioning and air circulation. In those spaces, ventilation is inappropriate and may interfere with the proper functioning of the HVAC system.
Appropriately placed live plants can also help with thermal comfort. This is because they help reduce the intensity of direct sunlight, filter and humidify the air, reduce noise, and generally have a calming effect.
Drinking (replenishing fluids) and appropriate clothing
Employees themselves can also influence their own thermal comfort by choosing appropriate clothing and drinking habits. Each employee has an individual perception of temperature, so adequate clothing can help to unify their perception of the temperature in the space. While some people will be warm in a T-shirt, others will be cold in a sweater. Adequate amounts of hot and cold drinks also contribute to individual temperature perception.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your workplace provides employees and visitors with optimal thermal comfort all year round. Remember that the right temperature plays a key role in employee comfort, productivity and overall satisfaction, making it an important element in creating a positive and effective work environment.