Andrews Sykes looks at the implications of an uncomfortable working environment and how modern air conditioning delivers productivity-boosting cooling coupled with highly cost-effective heating

The study, which questioned 2,000 office staff on their summer working habits, found that 30% of workers exceed their designated lunch breaks by nearly 13 minutes during the summer. Thirteen minutes a day adds up to more than an hour wasted per week or 4.3 over the course of a month.

Whether it’s the provision of effective temperature control systems, a dress code change, as already called for by the Trades Union Congress, or a crackdown on lunchtime laxity, summer adaptations to office regimes seem likely to deliver improvements in staff morale and efficiency.

“Effective temperature control is fundamental to an individual’s comfort, well-being and productivity,” explained Andy Whiteley, divisional director of air conditioning and refrigeration at Andrews Sykes Hire Ltd. “Traditionally in the UK we have focussed on providing additional heating during the winter and relied on natural or mechanical ventilation in summertime. However, increasingly stringent thermal efficiency legislation, coupled with greater workplace occupation densities, heat-generating electrical equipment and a desire to seal modern buildings against noise and airborne pollutants, are converging to produce ever-greater heat loads.”

“In many circumstances relying on introducing ambient air into the space delivers insufficient cooling, resulting in stuffy, overheated internal environments and demoralised, demotivated people,” he added. “Modern air conditioning is environmentally responsible in its ability to deliver reliable, productivity-boosting cooling coupled with highly cost-effective heating. This capability can reduce or eliminate the need for alternative heating systems and significantly reduce CO2 emissions by enabling excess heat from one area of a building to be recovered and used to deliver heating to cooler parts of the building.”

Andrews Sykes is an international specialist in the provision of temporary and permanent air conditioning, heating, ventilation and dehumidification solutions.