Office temperatures can be tricky, especially if you have a lot of employees working in the same area. Whether an office is unbearably hot or freezing cold, extreme temperatures can affect company morale and productivity in seconds. Everyone has their own preference, but what temperature is “just right” to keep everyone satisfied and productive?
Temperature is a very powerful force. It can affect the mood of the workplace, but it can also alter the pace everyone is working at and how effective everyone is at their respective jobs.
According to a survey in 2018 called the career builder survey, about half of full-time American workers in the private sector complained of their office being either too cold or too hot. Most of us know that OSHA (The Occupational Safety and Health Administration) strongly recommends that temperatures in offices are kept between 68 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit. However, there are some people who will always find 68 degrees too cold and others who will be perspiring at 76 degrees.
Many surveys suggest that temperatures between 70 and 73 degrees Fahrenheit are more ideal. However, this research is a little outdated and is based on research done on primarily male offices in the 1960s and the 1970s. In the modern age, offices are equally full of women and men, and that must be taken into account. According to a study done in 2015, women are more susceptible to the cold than men are because of lower metabolic rates and higher body fat. If there are a lot of women working in your office, you might need to keep the thermostat a little higher. One study from the Eindhoven University of Technology shows that men prefer the temperature to be set at 72 degrees Fahrenheit, while women prefer temperatures closer to 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
The way your building is designed can also impact your thermostat. Are you in an older and drafty building? If so, your heater may need to be set to a higher temperature to keep up with the air that’s escaping until you can insulate the building. Are there large windows in your office that bring in lots of heat from the sun? If so, you may need to keep the thermostat at a lower temperature to keep up.
If the temperature is too high, productivity will continue to drop. However, if the temperature is too low, the workers will not be able to focus on their work. However, the temperature is up for debate and is largely affected by perception. Many large companies swear by keeping offices cold and giving the cold employees sweaters. Others keep places warmer and have employees use personal fans if they’re too warm.