Blog16 July 2013

Coping in a Heatwave: The Case for Portable Air Conditioners

High Performance Buildings, High Performing People

The prevailing heatwave, swiftly following on from a prolonged and unseasonable period of exceptional cold weather, may or may not be an indicator of climate change, but it certainly is a reminder of how distracting it can be to staff if they are uncomfortable

Workplace temperature is known to have a direct impact on productivity, what is less obvious is the impact of air quality. Increased air-borne irritants, such as dust and pollen prevalent during hot dry spells, and what seems to be an increase in late onset hay fever in adults, are yet more unwelcome intrusions into work routines – more than half a million more middle-aged people will develop hay fever over the next decade. In extremes this theme can lead to issues associated with ‘Sick Building Syndrome’ a topic Andrews Sykes is actively exploring on behalf of our clients and facilities partners.

Enable High Performance Teams: Hire Comfort Cooling

Air Conditioning can help – both by providing a cool and calm workplace, as well as ‘scrubbing’ the air as it passes through the equipment to be conditioned and cooled. Hard pressed businesses however, can ill afford to invest substantial capital in refurbishing existing, often under-maintained systems nor in the introduction of a new system for the first time. Some buildings simply aren’t configured to accept the infrastructure involved and certainly business doesn’t need the disruption such a major alteration can involve. Such change definitely needs to be planned to take place when it will have least impact.

One solution which avoids relying on simply opening the windows and introducing external noise and extra dust and pollen and which can be set up as an interim measure to help cope with peak periods, is to hire in free standing or portable air conditioners, neatly vented to an adjacent window or ceiling void. This avoids incurring major capital commitment, provides local and temporary relief and doesn’t involve major upheaval.

More research work is needed to prove the direct and indirect commercial benefits and the advantage business can gain by providing a great workplace, but common sense tells us that happy, content, ‘sniffle –free’ staff will have one less thing getting in the way of them doing their best work.