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The True Cost of Office Temperature

The True Cost of Office Temperature

Do you ever think about just how much time you spend adjusting the thermostat at work every day? How about your coworkers? If not, you might be surprised. Here, we will talk about the true cost of office temperature: productivity. Not only that, but the temperature can also effect worker happiness, motivation, and more. Here, we will talk about how each sex sees different temperatures, what the ideal temperature is, and more.

No Office Seems to Be Ideal

First off, only 20% of workers seem to be OK with the current temperature of their office at any given time. The rest seem to think it is either too hot or too cold. Both men and women waste between 6 and almost 9 minutes per day adjusting the thermostat. Worker opinions shifts with the seasons, as well as outside factor, but sex, surprisingly, also plays a bit of a role. It seems that generally speaking, no office at any one given time seems to be either warm enough (in the winter) or cool enough (in the summer). Over half of people feel this way.

Men: Too Hot

Men seem to not let the chill affect them. Nor are they afraid of the heat. Over 20% of men feel like their office is too hot in the summer, but over 25% seem to think it feels fine. Over one forth, though, also bring in their own fan to the office. About the same women as men left the office, at some point, to get cooler. In the winter time, 24% think that their office is at the ideal temperature. Only 17% think that it is too cold. Despite this, just under half of men put on extra clothing during the wintertime to keep the cold at bay.

Women: Too Cold!

Women, by far, seem to dislike the winter. Only around 25% of them complain during the summer for being too hot. But far more complain during the winter of being too cold. Over 30% think it is too cold, in fact. This makes women more likely than men in the winter to bring in either a hot water bottle or put on more clothing. Around 70% of women will put on more clothing to get toasty. Compare this to just 37% who were willing to bring in their own fan during the summer.

Possible Factors

There are a lot of factors that can affect how we perceive temperature. For one, weighing more can have effect temperature perception. Clothing does, too. Environmental factors that we cannot control can make us feel hot or cold. Airflow can make you cooler, where lack of airflow can make you feel warmer. Humidity can make chill feel more serious, and heat more unbearable. Radiators, how much sun you get in the office, or just how the air feels around you can also all make you feel hotter or colder. Keep these things in mind in your office environment.

The Ideal Temp

So what is the ideal temperature? It depends on who you ask. Several studies have been conducted. It seems that a temperature between 25 and 19 degrees Celsius is what you should aim for. This keeps productivity in the 95% range. At 33 degrees, that amount of productivity drops by 10%. At 15 degrees, you are only working at 90% of productivity. Cornell recommends keeping workplaces at a solid 25 degrees. Helsinki University says to keep it a bit cooler at 22. The Chartered Institute of Building Surveys tells workplaces to go even lower at only 20 degrees.

So What and Who Cares?

Well, if you are a manager or a supervisor, you should! All that this proves is that even the smallest, most trivial things can effect production for everyone. But controlling the environment around your workers, you can actually make them happier and healthier. And with happier workers, you get more productivity from your workers. Any and all people in management should take advantage of this. Help your workers look forward to coming in to work. Make their workplaces less unbearable by creating comfortable temperatures, among other things.

It's no coincidence The U.K.'s Health and Safety Executive states: "The law does not state a minimum temperature, but the … temperature in workrooms should normally be at least 16 degrees Celsius unless much of the work involves severe physical effort in which case the temperature should be at least 13 degrees Celsius (55.4 degrees Fahrenheit). These temperatures may not, however, ensure reasonable comfort, depending on other factors such as air movement and relative humidity."

Building on These Ideas

Think about the comfort of things like clothing, furnishings, and more for your workers. Get them active and keep them healthy. Provide snacks and food when and if needed. Or, spaces for them to work out or relax. Even though most of these things seem silly, they can also make your workplace great or not so great. It may sound obvious, but having a quality air conditioning installation can work wonders. For everyone who works there having a great working environment is truly huge. Brainstorm with your team to determine other things that they may want in their perfect workplace. Even if you cannot make all of them happen, chances are you can use a few of their ideas to make everything better for everyone.
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