What impact does room temperature have when working from home?

Many of us will currently be working from home. For some of us, this might be a very normal thing to do, either all of the time or occasionally. But for a lot of us, working from home might also be very unusual and a big adjustment.

Having to work from home for an extended period of time, very suddenly, can also be a shock to the system, especially if you are used to being in an office environment. Most of us will be keen to remain as effective as possible during the transition to home working.

What is productivity and why does it matter now?

This effectiveness is usually referred to as productivity, which is defined by the Cambridge dictionary as being “…the rate at which a person does useful work,” and it is measured in many different ways.

During challenging times such as those the world is currently facing, it can be difficult to maintain high levels of productivity, especially if you’re adjusting to a big change like working from home. You may face several challenges:

  • Finding a balance between work and personal time, particularly if you’re having to rethink the hours you usually work and to find a new routine that works for everyone.
  • Having the right set up and equipment to be able to work effectively. Whether that’s the right devices and workstations, effective communication tools, a good mobile signal and broadband availability among other items.
  • Separating yourself from others in your home and getting the time and space you need to fully concentrate on tasks.

Importance of creating a comfortable workspace

Some of us are lucky to have separate studies, outbuildings or rooms that can function as dedicated office or workspace when working from home. Others may not have this space available to them and may have to work from normal living areas.

Whatever the nature of the space you’ve allocated to work from, it’s important to create a comfortable and suitable environment as best you can, to safeguard your wellbeing and help you to work effectively.

How temperature impacts productivity

If you usually work in a shared office environment, you’ll be familiar with the wars that rage on what the ‘ideal’ temperature should be to keep everyone comfortable. There are usually some that feel too hot, and others that aren’t warm enough.

Temperature can have a huge impact on mood, wellbeing and general comfort. In fact, many studies have been conducted to determine the effect of temperature on productivity.

One study conducted in 2014 by British Gas found that office workers in the UK waste 2% of their work hours arguing over the ideal office temperature. That amounts to an eye watering £13 billion a year in wasted productivity.

However, there is still a great deal of debate around what the ideal working temperature should be. The Chartered Institute of Building Surveyors recommends a temperature of 20°C, whereas researchers from Cornell University found that people were twice as productive when the office temperature was raised by 5°C to 25°C.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, on the other hand, is reported to keep his office at a notably chilly 15°C, one degree lower than the minimum temperature for an office space according to the HSE’s Approved Code of Practice.

Too hot is not ideal either, with the University of Chicago finding that productivity drops as low as 85% when temperatures reach 33°C.

So, what is the ideal temperature for working?

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory collected readings on productivity levels and also recorded temperatures from 24 different studies. They found that the perfect temperature lies in the region between 20°C and 25°C, which is perhaps slightly higher than many would think. The same investigation concluded that a temperature of 21°C helps to optimise creativity and productivity.

Of course, the set ambient temperature of a room is one variable but there are many more associated variables to consider that can impact one’s comfort and productivity when working. This includes humidity (the amount of moisture in the air), how the air is moving and circulating within a room as well as things like what clothes you’re wearing, your age, your weight, your metabolic rate and even gender. Uniquely, if you’re working from home and have your own space, you have the potential to create an environment that is best suited to your comfort levels.

How electric radiators can help to create a productive working environment

There are many unique benefits that electric radiators offer over alternative heating sources such as panel heaters or storage heaters, in controlling, personalising and regulating the ambient temperature of a working space.

As they are incredibly easy to install and highly affordable, wall-mounted electric radiators like those made by Haverland are also an ideal heating solution for spaces that don’t have access to a gas-based central heating system, including garage and loft conversions, outbuildings, conservatories, summer houses and garden offices.

As working from home becomes the new normal for many of us, you may have some questions around how you can use your electric radiators to create the right working environment for you. Our support team is here to help with any specific questions and our next blog will provide more detail on features that we include in our electric radiators to help you customise and control the ambient temperature in your home office.