When creating the right office atmosphere, comfort is key. Employers want to ensure teams are not too warm where they may get sleepy, while also not too cold that they cannot concentrate. Unfortunately, many different types of workplaces face year-round temperature challenges and struggle to strike the perfect balance to keep all employees comfortable and focused.
In the winter, it is important to keep cold drafts at bay without overheating, while in the summer a cool and comfortable environment is ideal. Discovering the right level of comfort by adjusting the temperature throughout an entire facility can be inefficient and unnecessarily costly. When workstations, desks and counters leave some team members in the cold, supplemental electric radiant heating can keep temperatures comfortable and workers happy.
In fact, there are portable radiant heaters specifically designed to provide personalized, targeted warmth to employees that also are energy efficient. Here are a few attributes to consider when selecting a portable radiant heater to counter a workplace chill.
Silence is Golden
The physical work environment can have a significant impact on worker productivity—whether it’s the temperature, the layout or the resources available. When improving the temperature of a facility, it is vital to ensure the solution does not create a separate issue by increasing sound levels. Buzzing heaters or loud fans can quickly become a source of frustration (and possible safety hazard) for individuals trying to concentrate or communicate with one another in a quiet space.
Radiant heating technology functions without using a fan or blower, allowing units to heat up without creating a distraction or moving any air. Employees will barely notice when a unit is running, aside from the targeted warmth silently filling their space.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
When providing heat to a specific area in a facility, it can be difficult to find room for a large, bulky heater. Depending on the type of workspace, it also can be hazardous to expose certain materials to direct heat, creating a need to adjust the layout to accommodate a hefty heater.
Look for portable radiant heaters designed to tuck away into small spaces without impacting workplace design. A freestanding unit with a thin profile can easily slide under tables or desks without taking up excess space. In addition, a slim unit that fits into a variety of spaces can be used and moved throughout a facility to heat specific areas based on employee needs throughout the year.
Part of the temperature dilemma many workplaces face is differing levels of comfort preferences for each employee. While some workers feel a facility is frigid in the summer, others may be quite comfortable or find it too warm.
Soft heat provided by portable radiant heaters is less harsh than other heating sources. These heaters provide a consistent, gentle warmth to objects and individuals in the immediate area, without pushing intense heat that can get lost in the air. An under-the-desk heater should be safe to the touch and also offer controls to regulate how much heat is distributed in the area to ensure just the targeted spots are affected. This creates a pleasant work environment while lowering heating costs.
Plug and Go
A portable heater should be just that—fully portable from one location to the next. If wiring is involved or a thermostat is needed, the unit is not truly portable. One employee may only need a heater in the winter months, while another may require additional warmth when the AC kicks on in the summer. Likewise, certain areas of a facility like a warehouse or garage may run cold depending on the time of year, prompting a need for a portable heater that is easily accessible with a simple plug into the wall.
A convenient power cord and three-pronged plug ensures a portable heater can warm almost any space without the need for extra wiring, complicated installs or a thermostat connection. In addition, the unit should offer versatility for where it can be situated within a space – such as mounted on a wall or supported on a floor stand.
Under a desk, inside a nook or behind a workbench are all ideal spots for a portable heater. But these areas can be poorly lit, making it difficult to see and use the heater’s controls. Fumbling in the dark to turn on/off or adjust a unit can be frustrating or potentially dangerous.
Opt for a portable radiant heater with an on/off switch that features a built-in light showcasing the important controls even in dark spaces. This light will allow employees to safely use the heater without straining into uncomfortable positions to flip a switch.
When selecting a portable heater, choose convenience and efficiency over bulk and heft, and look for units designed to meet specific heating demands—such as under-the-desk warmth—to ensure the right amount of warmth is provided.
For example, the Qmark 202SL radiant plug-in under desk portable heater offers personalized, energy efficient warmth for offices, workstations, conference rooms, reception areas and more.
Jim Herring is the supervisor of Total Custom Solutions & Technical Services at Marley Engineered Products, a leading North American designer and manufacturer of reliable comfort heating and ventilation solutions for residential, commercial and institutional buildings.