industrial worker battling heat stress in a hot factory

How Does Heat Stress Impact Worker Productivity?

Your business requires high levels of performance from your employees. It’s crucial that workers are able to do their jobs quickly and accurately. Unfortunately, excessive temperatures can derail worker productivity, having a devastating impact on the reputation and profitability of your business. For this reason, a cool working environment should be considered an essential tool to maximize the performance of your employees.

We encourage you to use our Productivity Loss Calculator to better understand the dollars and productivity hours you’re losing due to hot temperatures.

80°F Is the Tipping Point for Worker Productivity

A research team from the University of Chicago studied the productivity levels of workers on manufacturing teams in India. They found that 80°F was the tipping point for worker productivity. Production dropped by 3% on average for every 1.8 degrees the room temperature rose above 80°. In addition, researchers found that by cooling the work environment, productivity was restored to optimal levels.

A NASA study involving telegraph key operators also exhibited similar results regarding worker performance once temperatures rose above 80°F. In this study, the number of errors made by employees rose dramatically as the room temperature increased.

table showing the number of heat-related errors occurring as the temperature rises

Impact of Dehydration on Productivity

A primary cause of this decrease in employee performance is associated with dehydration. A 2% decrease in body weight from perspiration can trigger a state of heat exhaustion. A study by Wasterlund and Chaseling published in the Journal of Applied Ergonomics found that the decrease in productivity is significant even when there is only a 1% drop in body weight. Their research detailed a 12% loss of productivity once workers experienced a 1% loss in body weight from dehydration.

Another study published by the Archives of Environmental & Occupational Health evaluated the effects of dehydration on mental performance and decision making. The researchers found that a 2% loss in body weight from dehydration resulted in significant impairment of:

In addition, this study found that workers exhibited a 23% reduction in reaction time when they experienced a 4% body fluid loss.

Hot Work Environments Increase Employee Absenteeism

Hot work environments also impact employee performance in a more subtle way. They often keep employees from showing up to work, which can have a devastating impact on productivity. The University of Chicago study found that a 1-degree increase in the ten-day temperature average resulted in a 5% increase in employee absenteeism. Over time, prolonged instances of extreme heat in the work environment can significantly contribute to reduced man-hours, which will cause productivity to plummet.

Benefits of Maintaining a Cool, Comfortable Work Environment

man feeling comfortable in a factory that uses evaporative coolersThe productivity benefits that come from maintaining a cool, comfortable work environment are apparent. There is considerable data demonstrating that a cool work environment will have a significant impact on the performance of your workers. Due to the ability to prevent injury, reduce errors, and boost productivity, it’s crucial that you take the steps necessary to maintain the proper ambient temperature at your facility.

In addition, your employees will experience several other important benefits, including:

Portacool Can Keep Your Workers Productive and Comfortable

Portacool evaporative coolers provide an effective solution to keep your employees productive and comfortable during the hottest months of the year. We offer four distinct lines of evaporative coolers, providing the versatility you need. As long as you have access to an open-air source, we can keep your workspace cool, regardless of the size. You can use our online tool to find out which products may fit your needs.

Remember, the heat negatively impacts all workers. Regardless of your industry, it’s crucial to take the steps necessary to maintain a cool, comfortable work environment. Portacool evaporative coolers can be used with a wide range of business applications, including:

All Portacool evaporative coolers are made in our Center, Texas manufacturing facility. In addition, our evaporative media is produced by our subsidiary company Kuul, ensuring it is made to the exact specifications of our evaporative coolers. Kuul produces the only evaporative media manufactured in the United States, and it uses the highest quality materials to ensure optimal cooling results.

At Portacool, we pride ourselves on providing world-class customer service. To deliver on this promise, we offer best-in-class warranties, technical support, and live customer service. We’re here to ensure you get the most out of your evaporative cooler for years to come.

Find a retailer near you, or contact us today to learn more.