In Singapore, there is a common complaint among office workers that their offices are freezing. You have probably noticed that most of the office dwellers are wearing their company issued windbreaker. Does a cold office increase or decrease production? What would be an optimal temperature for effective performance?
The interaction of man with his general environment can be pursued under the headings such as physical aspects (lighting, noise, vibration, thermal), chemical, biological and social-psychological aspects. Conditions in industries have shown that poor ventilation and temperatures which are too high or too low result in lost of efficiency, discontent and increased rate of accident and sickness. HF experts aim to provide a satisfactory “indoor climate” for the worker by understanding the thermoregulatory system of human beings, the physiological and psychological effects of hot and cold environment, and assessing the performance of individuals working in these environments.
As with extreme heat, noise and vibration can often be very damaging to the health of the worker, if precautions are not adopted by the management. Noise which may be very annoying may not be loud enough to be damaging, and noise which may not irritate the person could be very dangerous. It is important to distinguish the effects and not assume that all is well just because the workers in a noisy factory seem to be contented. However, it should also be noted that the constant noise from a printer in a very quiet office, although may not be damaging to the hearing, could affect a person’s concentration which in turn could be detrimental to his performance.