Every office has that one person who is thermally challenged – when it’s scorching outside, the air-conditioning chills the space too much, so the window needs to be open for the hot air to gush in and render everyone else unconscious. And when it is freezing, the heating is stifling so it needs to be turned down, making the rest of the office sit in their winter coats at their desks.
Yes, there is always that one person, but if it is a group of people, you know that, as a business owner, you have the obligation to check the situation and to provide optimal working conditions for your employees. The first step is to interview them, spend some time yourself in their offices and once you conclude that improvements are necessary, hire professionals to take care of it. However, if you are dealing with a limited budget and you are not certain where to start with the checkups, here are a few things you might need to pay attention to.
Improve roof and walls insulation
Let’s put it like this: you might have an excellent heating system, but if the outer walls are not properly insulated, it will not do you any good. In countries where the temperature drops up to -20, such as Norway, the insulation issue is taken quite seriously. For example, Oslo offices’ outer walls are better insulated so as to allow less transfer. On the other hand, the interior walls, those between offices, are thinner so that the warmth can be more evenly distributed. As for the roof, it needs to be better insulated, just as the outer walls, and don’t forget to make sure that the basement, if your building has any, is also taken care of, so as not to allow for that usually cold air to spread throughout your warm offices.
Choose the window design wisely
It goes without saying that the only thing guaranteed with old deteriorated wooden frames is the draught. Windows are also, to a large extent, responsible for heat gain and loss in the winter months, but their role is essential in the summer months as well. This is especially true for countries where the summers can get very hot, such as Australia. For instance, if you are looking for new office windows in Adelaide, you need to make sure that they provide you with thermal comfort during the summer as well. Also, take into account the condensation since the issue of mold, if not addressed, can cause serious health issues.
Consider inlets and outlets position
The air becomes hot by absorbing the energy in the form of heat, and this energy causes the molecules to expand and decreases the air density. On the other hand, the cold air molecules are huddled closer, so consequently, the cold air travels down, and the hot air travels up. This would be fine if we were working from the ceiling and not from the chairs and tables placed on the floor. You can save a lot on your electricity bill if the placement of inlet and outlet ducks is favorable. For example, positioning outlets in the opposite direction will increase air turbulence, and space can get rid of the stale and hot air.
Pay attention to HVAC
The HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system is what should provide us with an optimal working environment, providing that the insulation is good. A defect or leakage in any of these system elements can cause problems and discomfort. Here’s a simple example – if a significant amount of water is finding its way from the air conditioning to any unsecured sockets or bare wires, that is quite dangerous, and also discomforting, since the entire system will have to be turned off until the issue is repaired. It would be best to schedule regular checkups of the entire system so as to avoid unpleasant surprises and prevent larger issues from forming. One of the vital components of productivity, in general, is employee satisfaction. Feeling comfortable in their working environment results in people whose creativity and resourcefulness blooms, as opposed to those who work on rickety chairs and in stifling rooms. So, to provide those optimal conditions, thermal comfort is also a thing to consider.
What you need to start is the proper insulation of walls and roof, as well as quality window frame and pane. Once you have secured that there is no unwanted air circulation present, you can address the circulation that should exist, so as to get rid of stale air. And to top it off, schedule regular maintenance of your HVAC system to give your employees the ultimate working conditions.