Coronavirus: Ventilation and air conditioning in the workplace

Balancing ventilation with keeping people warm at work

Guide

Providing adequate ventilation does not mean people have to work in an uncomfortably chilly or cold workplace.

There are simple steps you can take to make sure your workplace is adequately ventilated without being too cold:

  • Partially opening windows and doors can still provide acceptable ventilation while keeping workplace temperatures comfortable.
  • Opening higher-level windows will probably create fewer draughts.
  • In occupied rooms relying on natural ventilation, air the space by opening windows and doors as fully as possible to regularly provide additional fresh air.
  • This can be done while people leave the room for a break. For example, 10 minutes an hour can help reduce the risk from virus in the air, depending on the size of the room.
  • If the area is cold, relax dress codes so people can wear extra layers and warmer clothing.
  • You could set the heating to maintain a comfortable temperature even when windows and doors are open.

Consider providing additional sources of heating if required. Only use fan convector heaters if the area is well ventilated.

Employers have a legal duty to ensure that working environments are a 'reasonable temperature'. Find out more about safe working temperatures.