Productivity and Air Conditioning: A Fresh Take

As summer approaches and temperatures rise, air conditioning once again comes to the forefront of the minds of office workers across the UK. Clean air has been proven to increase happiness and wellbeing, but employers also need to consider the impact fresh air can have on the bottom line.

The key is focus. Focus requires a healthy mind; if you do not eat well, or if the brain does not receive enough oxygen, your mind is liable to wander.

This concept is not a new one, as classical Greek philosopher Plato said: "All things will be produced in superior quantity and quality, and with greater ease, when each man works at a single occupation, in accordance with his natural gifts, and at the right moment, without meddling with anything else."

He may not have anticipated the advanced technology now at our disposal, but fresh air ventilation and well maintained air conditioning provide the oxygen the body needs to stay focused and productive.

Fresh Air Ventilation and the Brain

The human brain accounts for 2% of body mass, but uses 20% of the oxygen in the bloodstream. We constantly use up oxygen in the air as we breathe, so it must be quickly replenished. In a low-oxygen environment, the brain is less effective.

As such, staff in workplaces with poorly designed air conditioning systems are typically restless, unproductive and relatively unhealthy. A system that is not connected through ventilation to a fresh air source makes the work environment stuffy and uncomfortable.

Sarah Welton, vice-president of the International WELL Building Standard Institute, recently observed that better indoor air quality can lead to productivity improvements of up to 11%. “We've forgotten that we primarily construct buildings to protect and support our health,” she added.

When considering a new air conditioning system, contact our experts to discuss the amount of fresh air needed to create the most dynamic workspace. With years of experience in the design and installation of effective ventilation systems, 361 Degrees provides the ventilation needed to create the ideal working environment, year-round.

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