My workplace is too hot! But mine is too cold!

Paul P

Paul Phillips
Director of Consultancy Services, Assurity Consulting
7th April 2017

The information I was drawn to featured in the Data highlights section, specifically the “Top 3 Physical features of the workplace”. The physical feature that my attention was drawn to was “Temperature control.”

According to the findings of the responses received, 81% of people regard temperature control in the workplace as “Important”. This result wasn’t especially surprising. We at Assurity Consulting having been independently auditing comfort conditions for a wide range of organisations and at many different locations and workplaces for over 30 years. It is undoubtedly true that “Temperature control” is a significant issue of major importance for occupiers and Facilities Managers alike.

The result that did surprise me, and if I’m honest did greatly disappoint me, was that only 28% of respondents were “Satisfied” with the temperature control in their workplace. With the level of sophistication and control available in many workplaces today for temperature control, I ask myself “what is going on?”

Myself, like many others can pontificate about objective facts versus perceptions on comfort conditions, but this seems to have no bearing on the honest feedback the respondents to the Leesman survey are providing. As an industry, providing comfort control to occupiers in our workplaces, we are still getting it badly and woefully wrong. 72% are dissatisfied – fact!

I still think there is much to do in understanding people’s expectations on temperature control in the workplace. Many modern offices for example can demonstrably control ambient temperatures within a very small and clearly defined temperature range (2 or 3 degrees Celsius or less in many cases). Whereas occupiers will tolerate (or not be able to control) temperature fluctuations at home of 15 (or greater) degrees Celsius, especially in the winter months. This level of tolerance obviously changes when people leave home and come in to work. There is an open dialogue to be had. Service levels may or may not include such specifics in general discussions but with such a high degree (pardon the pun!) of dissatisfaction out in the workplace, perhaps some honest, realistic dialogue is required?