If you’ve worked in an office, you know that the thermostat is a popular topic of debate. Ok, that might be putting it nicely. People are extremely passionate about setting the right temperature in the office.
Why is that?
- Well, when you’re spending nine hours a day in the same place, you want to feel comfortable
- There is a belief that a comfortable temperature will have a direct impact on employee productivity
It’s hard to argue with either of those fair temperature arguments. But regardless if temperature is helping your employees or not, it seems like there is always some disagreement.
How do you accommodate those that want a low or high office temperature?
Believe it or not, it is possible.
The Importance of temperature in an office
Have you ever felt way too cold to even focus on your work? What about too warm? Well, there’s actually science behind that. Discomfort can lead to additional stress and therefore, worsened productivity. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety says that:
“…thermal comfort is important both for one’s well-being and for productivity. It can be achieved only when the air temperature, humidity and air movement are within the specified range often referred to as the ‘comfort zone’”.
Ok great, so just make my office comfortable, and that’s that. Too bad it’s not that simple.
There is also data supporting the idea that warmer environments are better for creative thinking while cooler offices are believed to support alertness during monotonous tasks.
With that in mind, you know now that setting the thermostat is more strategic than you might’ve originally thought. So what’s the right temperature for your employees?
Choosing a fair temperature
Well, there’s good news and there’s bad news.
Bad news: The CCOHS also states that there is not one temperature that can satisfy everyone. It’s just not physically possible. Some people run hot, and some people run cold. It’s part of a person’s genetic makeup.
Good news: Although you can’t please everyone, you can most likely please the majority. But how?
Some say the ideal office temperature is somewhere between 21° and 24°C, but obviously, that is up for debate. Mark Zuckerberg swears by keeping conference rooms extremely cold for increased productivity. Former President of the United States, Barack Obama was in favor of keeping the Oval Office on the warmer side.
When you think about it, it is easier to warm yourself up than cool yourself down in an office. You can always add more layers in a cold environment, but removing layers isn’t always an option if you’re already down to the bare minimum.
So here’s a solution that might work.
Keep your office cool
No matter what, someone is going to be cold, and someone is going to be warm. Your best bet is setting your thermostat somewhere within the recommended 21° to 24°C range. Then, gauge the opinions of employees to establish a preferred office temperature for the majority.
Those that are warm may be able to open a window to provide relief. But, for those without that option cooling down without adjusting the temperature will be difficult. That means…
Keeping things on the cooler side and encouraging the use of sweater and pullovers is the easiest solution.
Employee productivity while in the office is a major objective for most businesses. If you have most of your office in a comfortable environment, you are well on your way to a high-performing workplace.
You can’t make everyone happy but you can find the closest thing to a middle ground.
If you are looking to adjust your physical office space to create a comfortable office culture or optimize employee productivity we’d be happy to help. Click below to qualify for a complimentary Design Consultation.