Saving energy: Workers in Germany shiver at their desks
Office temperatures should be kept to a maximum of 19 degrees Celsius, according to the German government. Was this choice swift enough, though? It is clearly obvious that many companies and employees need to step up their plans for saving energy.
The thermometer has recently been reading just 6°Celsius (42.8 Fahrenheit) in the morning in Ludwigsburg, a city in southwest Germany. However, the local branch of the savings bank isn’t any warmer. In this 90,000-person town located just north of Stuttgart, the bank tellers are assisting clients in a room that has been heated to a bracing 19°C (66.2 F), the standard working temperature in Germany for the past few weeks.
Since September 1, everyone in the nation has been lowering their thermostats to conserve electricity. Despite the fact that precautions won’t be lifted until February 28. Individuals are coming up with inventive ways to stave off the chill. The 500 employees of this Ludwigsburg bank are all outfitted in gray fleece coats, and the well-wrapped bank cashiers are finished off with black woolen gloves. Welcome to the new winter reality in Germany.
Temperature in public buildings dropped
- The German acronym “EnSikuMaV” stands for “Statutory Regulation to Secure the Energy Supply through Measures Effective in the Short Term“. Which translates to “Securing the Energy Supply via Measures Effective in the Short Term.” These actions are motivated by this edict. Because of Moscow’s conflict with Ukraine and a shortage of the gas that Gazprom typically supplies, the world’s energy supply is in jeopardy. Robert Habeck, the minister of the economy of Germany, prepared his country for some challenging weeks and months to come.
- One of the new regulations prohibits offices in public buildings from being heated over 19°C. With the exception of hospitals, nursing homes, schools, daycare centers, and institutions for the disabled. Additionally, the maximum temperature does not apply to workplaces with workers whose health might be harmed by a lack of warmth. However, since German offices will no longer be heated above that 19 degrees. Everyone else will need to start layering up.
Increased health risks
- A 19-degree office temperature can, in fact, pose a long-term health danger for many people. The World Health Organization has issued a warning. Specifically, elderly people, with low blood pressure, those who don’t move around much or exercise much, and those who have asthma are particularly at risk for infections. Lower temperatures cause blood vessels to contract, and the WHO has strongly cautioned that this can raise the risk of heart attack and stroke.
- According to Wahl-Wachendorf, 19°C is also too chilly for several occupational groups. Also for those who have hypothyroidism or vascular problems. “This applies especially to air traffic controllers, or those at monitoring stations, who must sit at monitors for hours in a state of high concentration – positions in which people must keep a constant physical position and are unable to get up and move around at regular intervals,” she added.
Women are more productive in the warm season
- German family doctors are already overburdened with demands for medical certifications stating that individuals want a warmer workplace. In fact, it should not be understated how much economic harm the 19-degree regulation will bring about. This is due to the fact that the productivity and efficiency of women, who make up about half of the workforce in Germany, are negatively impacted by low room temperatures.
- According to Wahl-Wachendorf, “Employers have an interest in ensuring that employees are not excessively cold—not least from the point of view of productivity, and so that at least the majority feel comfortable.” “even if it means using floor mats or blankets.
Personally, I believe that the German government made a sensible decision for saving energy. Employers must prioritize their health as a top priority. Eating hot fruit teas, taking walks during your lunch break, and wearing warm apparel, such as cardigans or two pairs of socks, will all make you feel warmer.