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It’s Time to Stop Playing with the Office Thermostat

Have you ever heard that saying:  there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes?  The cliche is stating that as long as you are dressed properly, the weather outside shouldn’t really have any affect on you.  Whether you think that rings true is up to you.  But, that same concept can also be applied indoors–especially in the workplace.

If you are like me, you always grab a sweater or jacket before leaving the house because the office constantly feels chilly.  Others, on the other hand, dress in layers because the office tends to feel stuffy and warm.  This difference in opinion has been drawn down the gender line with women typically falling on the ‘cold’ side and men landing on the ‘hot’ side.  Though that has been a generalization for years, a recent study has shown that truism has existed for a reason.

The Office Thermostat Battle is Real

The study states that the preference of women for higher temperatures is widely known.  Furthermore, researchers have found, “At higher temperatures, women perform better on a math and verbal task while the reverse effect is observed for men.” (Battle for the Thermostat:  Gender and the effect of temperature on cognitive performance. Chang, Kajackaite. 2019).

A survey from Career Builder has found that many employees take matters into their own hands and secretly change the thermostat.  Though it may initially seem like a petty battle, we can now see how working in appropriate temperatures can increase productivity.  Which means that the battle for the thermostat is something worth addressing.

What Can We do About It?

The thing not to do is secretly switch the temperature on the office thermostat.  Why?  Because constantly fiddling around with the thermostat settings is bad for the HVAC system and it can use excess energy.

What you can do is try and find a happy medium temperature and encourage employees to dress appropriately and bring in things such as fans or space heaters as necessary.

If things are looking really desperate?  A zoned heating and cooling system can be installed.  With a zoned heating and cooling system, different areas of a building or “zones” can have completely different temperatures.  With a zoned system you could try having various areas of the office set at multiple temperatures and give employees the option to find their optimal working temperature.

For more information about commercial heating and cooling systems, contact us at FLAME Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, and Electrical!

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