4 years ago
Now Reading: Well-being in the office: what is the ideal temperature for improving productivity?
4 years ago
Well-being in the office is a delicate subject that affects many of us. If you think about it, you spend more than half your day in the office: feeling good in that time isn’t that easy and shouldn’t be taken for granted.
In this article – based on research into the subject – we’ll look at the physical workplace and give you some practical advice on how to create a comfortable and peaceful office that stimulates productivity. What is the ideal temperature for increasing productivity and improving performance? From the ideal office temperature to the furniture, from lighting to colours and plants, let’s take a look at how to work better and facilitate well-being in the workplace.
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Some people might develop a sarcastic smile when they hear talk of well-being in the workplace. Overwhelming thoughts, excessive workloads that you can’t manage, a tense environment, the fear of making mistakes… It isn’t always easy to get up in the morning and think positively about the new working day. When the alarm sounds, how often have you thought about taking the first aeroplane somewhere else, maybe somewhere warm?
There are many factors that contribute to work-related stress, which in the long-term are translated into physical complaints that can be serious. This is not to mention our personal lives and loved ones, onto whom we inflict our bad moods. It is no accident that the concept of the work-life balance has become a dominant term in corporate vocabulary.
How can you combat work-related stress and balance your professional and private lives? To begin with, it is really important to pay attention to small factors that, if overlooked, can have a significant impact on our mood. With this in mind, breaks are extremely important, as is posture, which is too often ignored. But this isn’t everything.
Did you know that the working environment can contribute significantly to peace and well-being in the workplace? It has been proven that a welcoming environment increases efficiency and combats stress.
The first step for feeling good in the workplace is to customise it and take a few measures. From the ideal temperature in the office to the arrangement of desks, from the colour of the walls to the lighting, let’s take a look at how to promote well-being in the workplace.
On long winter days the most cold-blooded people raise the temperature on the thermostat whilst the hot-blooded ones are in t-shirts: has this ever happened to you? How often have you confronted – more or less amicably – your colleagues about the ideal temperature in the office?
In the book Digital Detox (HOEPLI editore) the consultant and trainer Alessio Carciofi tells us that:
In a study carried out by Cornell University, researchers examined how different temperatures in the office are correlated with productivity. When the temperature was low (20 degrees), employees made 44% more errors/distractions with respect to how they worked at optimum room temperature, around 25 degrees.
Now, the problem is not only that if you feel cold you feel uncomfortable. The problem is that you are distracted. If we feel cold, we use a significant amount of energy to increase body temperature and this has a negative impact on concentration and focus. The research also maintains that a workplace with the right temperature not only improves productivity but also happiness.
How then do you ensure the ideal temperature and provide a comfortable area with a solution that is also environmentally friendly? A designer gas stove or gas fireplace could be a defining feature in your office. The comfortable and familiar sight of the flame but with maximum practicality, which is essential in the workplace. A gas stove requires no work to run: it is switched on and off via remote control, the glass stays clean, no ash or creosote is formed and no cleaning is required. Modern gas stoves can also heat the home in a uniform way, how? Thanks to the Multifuoco System.
Furnish with style and save money
A stove or fireplace of this type helps make the entire environment more welcoming, with a light that embraces you and a constant and uniform temperature. Let’s look at other functional elements that can make the difference for well-being in the workplace.
Even office furniture plays an important role in achieving well-being at work. Of course we all dream of working in colourful futuristic office spaces like Google.
However, even if you don’t belong to the Mountain View giant, you can still arrange your spaces and furniture to better enjoy the working day. Let’s start with the arrangement of desks in the office. If you situate your desk so that your back is protected by a wall, with no windows behind you and with a view of the room, you’ll feel safer.
Albert Einstein said: “If a messy desk is a sign of a messy mind, what does an empty desk signify?”. In order to feel comfortable in the workplace you should customise it: the mind is more active in environments that aren’t completely neutral. Of course, this doesn’t mean barricades of paper and documents…
Marlon Nieuwenhuis, a researcher at the faculty of psychology at the Cardiff University, has explained how being surrounded by plants to be looked after in the office makes people happier and healthier. The productivity of office workers increases by up to 15%.
“Our research suggests that companies that invest in plants in the office are repaid by an increase in the quality of life and productivity of their employees”, says Nieuwenhuis. Previous studies have shown how the presence of plants can lower physiological stress, increase attention spans and improve natural well-being. What are you waiting for to get down to the garden centre?
It is a well known fact that natural light plays an important role in our well-being. This is true of office lighting as well.
A study carried out by the California Energy Commission showed how the performance of workers sat next to a window is between 10% and 25% better, with improved mental functions and memory. Working with light from a window is the best possible solution, but how can we improve the situation if your office space doesn’t benefit from natural light?
LED lighting could be a good solution. When lit in the morning and unlit in the afternoon, it can mimic natural light patterns, increasing productivity and improving mood.
The colour of office spaces has an impact on concentration and productivity, promoting well-being at work. According to a study carried out by the University of Texas, each colour corresponds with a specific sensation:
(Source Digital Detox by Alessio Carciofi – HOEPLI editore)
We’ve seen how important well-being in the workplace is. A comfortable and peaceful environment increases productivity and prevents work-related stress.
The ideal office temperature, the right furniture, the most suitable lighting, the colours and a few plants can all be great allies in achieving well-being in the office. Start making changes!