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Inadequate heating & ventilation costing offices time & money, survey finds

The survey conducted by heater and air-conditioning company, Andrews Sykes and Onepoll, questioned 2,000 UK office workers about their satisfaction with their current working environment.

The survey found that nearly 80% of respondents had cause to complain about their office environment. Around one quarter of those surveyed said they or a colleague had taken up climate issues with management staff, whilst only 24% of people were comfortable with office temperatures in summer or winter months.

More than aggrieving staff, being too hot or cold has a significant effect on productivity in the workplace. On average, respondents admitted to wasting more than 7.5 minutes a day due to poor office conditions, resulting in more than 28 wasted working hours per year. More than a third of workers admitted to spending more than 10 minutes a day trying to warm up or keeping cool, 6% of whom currently miss more than half an hour’s work per day.

Women, on average, said they wasted 33% more time (around 9 minutes, compared to 6.5) than men trying to acclimate themselves to inadequate office conditions. This wasted time adds up to around &pound450 over a year for the individual, or more than &pound13bn taking into account the whole of the UK workforce.

When too cold, 70% of women have needed to bring in additional clothing to the office to keep warm, and 50% resorted to excessive cups of tea, while less men 44% and 28% respectively, needed a jumper or a hot drink. Surprisingly, nearly 10% of women have resorted to bringing in a hot water bottle to work!

To alleviate the heat, nearly a third of those questioned bought their own personal fan to keep cool, with the most popular recourse being to open a window though, nearly half of those questioned did not have access to windows in their office, and nearly a quarter had  no way of altering their office environment at all.


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