Employee health and well-being is a growing priority in the workplace. It has been proven that employees are most creative and productive when in a healthy environment that meets their needs.
A recent article from Malcom Anson, President of the Building Controls Industry Association, explains that:
“Understanding the impact of well-being in commercial buildings can be integral in helping to attract and retain individuals in the workplace.” (Ref 1)
One key aspect that can affect employee well-being in the workplace is thermal comfort.
Thermal comfort is defined in British Standard ISO 7730 as ‘that condition of mind, which expresses satisfaction with the thermal environment.’
If employees are uncomfortable they are less productive and more prone to making errors, which can be costly. A workplace which is too hot, too cold or draughty can cause discomfort. Overheated workplaces can result in:
The majority of UK commercial buildings have mechanical heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment. However, despite this, 76% of employees still perceive the temperature of their office to be ‘uncomfortable.’ (Ref 2)
Employers must therefore take steps to create a comfortable working temperature. However, many HVAC systems can make achieving this thermal comfort difficult. They usually blow air outwards from centralised grilles or units – sometimes directly onto the people below. This can create an uncomfortable draught and make some people too cold whilst others close by are still hot.
The Ingenious Air® Small Duct System uses a different air movement pattern, induction. Induction delivers the warmed or cooled air evenly, via unobtrusive air outlets, positioned discreetly in ‘out of traffic’ areas in floors, wall and ceilings. Outlets do not need to be centred in the middle of the room, so treated air is not blown directly onto occupants. This means that temperatures are even and without draughts.
In addition, advanced air conditioning systems such as the Ingenious Air® System, can be used with intelligent controllers:
Buildings today are expected to be intelligent and able to adapt to changing individual needs. This can be achieved by using an advanced air conditioning system paired with smart controls:
Smart controllers and thermostats have intelligent features to accurately predict conditions such as temperature, humidity and IAQ. They have an easy to use layout and straightforward touch screen design, so are simple to operate. They monitor, analyse and adjust conditions to adapt to changing requirements through the course of the day or week. They allow employees to set personal preferences rather than be subjected to default settings. These user friendly controls can help increase employee productivity and ensure businesses run at maximum potential.
Ref 1: Anson. M, (2017) “A Healthy Level of Control”, HVNPlus, September 2017
Ref 2: ACR News (2016) ‘Office Temperatures are a Major Issue, Survey Finds’, available at: http://www.acr-news.com/office-temperatures-are-a-major-issue-survey-finds [accessed on:01/02/2016]