Does Air Conditioning Improve Productivity?


It’s hard to quantify but we can immediately see the benefits of air conditioning on workplace productivity. For example, if it’s too hot inside the office it becomes hard to focus or get something done. After all, our brains and bodies feel that something should be corrected first before we can fully pay attention to a certain task.

Does air conditioning improve productivity

It’s a similar case when it’s too cold where we often focus on that discomfort rather than the task in front of us. Although immediately we can just wear an extra layer of clothes or even change the AC settings, it’s just another form of distraction. Instead of focusing on the business or workplace objectives, another distraction comes along that takes away our focus, time and attention.

There we can see the impact of air conditioning on productivity. But what about morale? If there’s low morale in the organisation, it’s also hard to get something done individually or at the team level. It’s difficult to focus if everyone’s sweaty or uncomfortable. The work itself is actually difficult, and it gets even harder because of the discomfort. The staff might also think the business is cutting costs too much in exchange for the organisation’s comfort and productivity.

Low morale leads to low productivity and sometimes it can lead to mistakes too. Because of the discomfort, the focus on a task is far from 100 per cent. This means the chances for mistakes get higher. Worse, the mistake is directly blamed on the employee instead of the environment that facilitated the mistake in the first place.

It’s also good to think about the long hours inside the workplace where even a 1 degree difference can mean a lot in the entire day. Yes, it’s good to optimise for air conditioning and energy use. However, that optimisation might result in lower productivity and poor results, which could then harm the organisation.

So before enforcing discipline, motivation and excellence, it’s great to pay attention to comfort levels and other environmental factors in the workplace first. It’s these little everyday things that matter in the long run. Even a small tweak can make a huge difference to each individual and the entire organisation.