How can the loss of commercial air conditioning impact productivity during hot summer days?
It’s hard to believe that after one of the coldest winters in history, summer is about to embark upon us, bringing with it much anticipated warmth, sunshine and the ability to be far more active outdoors. However, if you own a business, summer doesn’t necessarily equate to happier employees due to increased exposure to the Vitamin D supplied by the sun. In fact, chances are, that as a business owner, you probably already know that the loss of your commercial air conditioning for even a day can dramatically impact the productivity of your employees in a very negative way.
How Air Conditioning Impacts Productivity
Despite commercial air conditioning being created for the benefit of cooling machinery (mainly the paper press), it was quickly recognized as a breakthrough invention that benefited businesses greatly as consumers flocked to air conditioned movie theaters and stores. Hypothesizing that climate controlled environments could benefit not only machinery, but humans, as early as 1950, government researchers began studying the effects of air conditioning within the workplace. They quickly recognized the increased productivity of employees working within offices and factories that were commercially air conditioned. The initial study noted that air conditioning boosted the productivity of employees by at least 25 percent, as well as led to less employee absenteeism when compared to employees that didn’t work in air conditioned environments.
In addition to providing physical comfort to employees in various workplaces like offices and factories, commercial air conditioning also provides added health benefits as well. Medical journals are full of documented studies citing the adverse effects that extremely hot temperatures can have on a persons health. These studies include indisputable correlating data between summer heat waves and increased mortality from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Loss of commercial air conditioning within your business, for even a day, can attribute to high levels of frustration, stress, exhaustion and thereby, naturally, decreased productivity.
William Nordhaus, an acclaimed Economist at Yale University, created a mapping analysis that found that individuals living and operating in cooler climates generated 12 times the economic production versus their counterparts living in the hottest climates across the globe.
Humidity also plays a large role in the comfort of employees and their productivity. The loss of commercial air conditioning within a work environment can wreak havoc upon the desired humidity level, attributing to sluggish employees and diminished work output. If the weather is highly humid, air doesn’t just feel heavier, it is heavier, and moves differently. High humidity doesn’t allow the human body to evaporate sweat as easily as it can at comfortable humidity levels. Commercial air conditioners supply climate controlled comfort by including condensing units that draw the humidity out of the air as it cools the workplace down.
The loss of commercial air conditioning within your business can have devastating effects on the productivity of your employees, so as warmer weather looms on the horizon, savvy business owners should be preparing to assure that their air conditioning systems are up to par in order to avoid not just the cost of emergency repairs, but also to assure that productivity remains at an optimal level.