The thermostat can be a topic of heated debate in some workplaces. People are surprisingly passionate about the temperature of their office environment.
Well, it turns out there may be more to these debates than what meets the eye.
Research suggests there’s a relationship between temperature and employee well-being and productivity. Psychologists from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University conducted a study wherein participants performed cognitively demanding tasks in rooms of different temperatures. They found that warm discomfort (i.e. being too hot) negatively affected participants’ sense of well-being whereas moderate discomfort of any kind (i.e. either too hot or cold) made it more challenging for participants to complete tasks.
Evidently, it is important that office temperature is taken into consideration to ensure employee well-being and productivity are optimal. However, this may be easier said than done. Closed-concept office environments have an advantage as each individual can adjust the thermostat according to their own preferences. It can get more complicated for open-concept offices where everyone is subject to the same temperature, despite individual preferences.
So, what can employers do to improve temperature conditions in their office environments for the betterment of their employees? Here are some ideas for those looking to cool down the thermostat debate once and for all.
Continue reading “Too Hot, Too Cold! Choosing The Right Temperature For Your Office”
Whether or not your work culture operates on an all-or-nothing binary of grinding and slacking, the idea of using relaxation techniques to improve the workplace might feel like a surprising, even revolutionary shift. But it’s not that complicated: even when some employees claim to work well under pressure, the need to offer and accommodate stress-reducing exercises and activities can benefit productivity as well as worker wellbeing. In honour of National Relaxation Day, here are seven simple ways employees can add some much-needed calm to their work hours.
- Have lunch with colleagues. Having some face-to-face time with coworkers in a more casual setting will help maintain social connections, help you collect your thoughts, and get a few distractions off your mind.
- Meditate. If you need a breather, why not take the term literally? Take five somewhere quiet and calming and do some deep-breathing exercises so your mental clutter can reset. Your physical state will settle down enough to help you through more of your day, too.
- Go for a walk. Outside is best, weather permitting; the fresh air will, as the saying goes, do you some good. But even rainy days shouldn’t stop you from stretching your legs: even indoors, breaking out of your usual space can help reboot your mood.
- Exercise. Walking is a good start, but it’s not just the change of scenery that helps: it should also motivate the circulation and work off some tense energy as well. It can help to take a few minutes to move around, and you don’t even have to keep things too strenuous.
- Stretch. Every so often — a half-hour is good — you should take a moment to pay attention to your posture, limber up a bit, and work your joints. No matter your age, you should be able to get a much-needed dose of calming physical stimulus by giving your muscles a bit of a stretch, even a slow, low-impact one.
- Disconnect. Whether it’s social media skirmishes or a tense true-crime podcast, some of the things we use as entertaining distractions can also work up stressors that get in the way of both productivity and mental well-being. Unplug from those distractions when you can.
- Declutter. Ever notice the therapeutic feeling that comes from tossing out a bunch of junk-drawer miscellany you had building up, or the strange satisfaction of getting some scattered books and papers organized? Getting rid of clutter and tidying up your workspace can have a collateral effect on your mind.
From standing desks to fitness centers, workspaces themselves can also help contribute to a low-stress work environment. Aura can provide design solutions that will promote an employee-centric strategy for your office space — feel free to get in touch for more information.