A common misconception is that there is a law which sets minimum and maximum temperatures but here's Friday's fact: there isn't!
Temperatures should be 'reasonable'.....a term favoured by the law as it is, of course, totally unclear what this means. Guidance suggests a minimum of 16 degrees (or 13 degrees for physical work) but there is no maximum.
I remember how hot it was last summer and at that time I was employed and working in an old building. My office had one of the sunniest spots with sun beaming down in the afternoon, there was no air conditioning and the fan just blew around hot air. We were allowed to leave early (without needing to make time up) and were given ice creams to cool down.
Although the law is silent on minimum and maximum temperatures, employers should still keep in mind health and safety responsibilities. The air should be clean and fresh and the temperature needs to be comfortable. But 'comfortable' is just as bad a 'reasonable'.
Stick someone under the air conditioning and they're freezing and some people walk around in t-shirts when it's snowing. Open plan offices are awful for keeping everyone happy! It could be that a quick review of seating, air temperature, fans, heaters etc. could work wonders in increasing workplace happiness and productivity.
‘Overall, our results suggest that gender is an important factor not only in determining the impact of temperature on comfort but also on productivity and cognitive performance,’ explain the researchers.