Could Your Freezing Cold Office Be Affecting Employee Productivity?

Could Your Freezing Cold Office Be Affecting  Employee Productivity?

Illness, water cooler gossip, disorganization, and too many meetings can wreak havoc on employee productivity. But did you know that the thermostat could be a big culprit too? 

People spend more time at work than anywhere else. As a business owner, it makes sense to try and keep your workplace as comfortable as possible for everyone. In general, women are typically cold while men are generally warm. It’s common to see a female wrapped in a fleece blanket with a space heater at her feet during summer. Meanwhile, a male sits at his desk across from her in shorts and a T-shirt. 

The Problem – Decreased Employee Productivity

And now there’s recent research to confirm this familiar scene. A Plos One study, “Battle for the thermostat: Gender and the effect of temperature on cognitive performance” by Tom Y. Chang identifies the temperature struggles in the workplace and how it affects the productivity levels of both genders. The research tested both males and females with math, verbal, and cognitive problems while also measuring the room temperature between 61 and 91 degrees Fahrenheit.

The study concluded that temperature affects math and verbal tasks but does not impact cognitive problem-solving. It also revealed that “At higher temperatures, women perform better on a math and verbal tasks while the reverse effect is true for men.” In warmer temperatures, women’s efforts increased, and they had a higher number of correct answers. On the other hand, men had fewer correct answers in warmer environments. 

As a business owner, how can you apply this information so that your workforce is more productive? 

The Solutions

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends that employers keep the thermostat between 68 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit. And with the findings above, it may be better to maintain a temperature somewhere in the middle of that range.

Here are more temperature solutions from Business News Daily that may help you break the thermostat war in your office. 

  1. Consider consulting with HVAC professionals. They can provide information on how the technical aspects of managing workplace temperatures at a reasonable cost. 
  2. Have a conversation with your team around temperature. Ask them if there is ever a time where they feel most unproductive due to it being too cold or too hot. Work with your employees to find the most comfortable temperature for everyone.
  3. Brainstorm other solutions such as desk locations, fans, blankets, and extra sweaters to keep everyone comfortabl.

Your employees are the backbone of your business. When your team feels their needs are understood and respected, they are much more likely to be productive and successful. Small changes can have a big impact on employee productivity.

Interested in learning about more ways to keep employees happy and increase your business productivity? Find out how hiring a professional commercial cleaning service can foster efficiency and help your bottom line!

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