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Office Temperature Affects Worker Production, New Survey Shows

iStock_office tempsJust in case you weren’t already overwhelmed with trying to keep work place morale up, employee stress low and staff burnout at a minimum…Well, here’s one more thing to consider as you look for ways to maintain office productivity: the thermostat.

While companies may be tempted to keep office thermostats low in efforts to save money this season, the move could actually end up costing them – in the form of lost production.  At the same time, however, blasting the heat isn’t any better, finds CareerBuilder’s most recent survey.

According to the survey of 4,285 workers nationwide, one third of workers say that office temperature – whether too high or too low – affects their productivity.  The survey also found that…

  • 27 percent of workers describe the temperature at their work place as “too hot,” while 19 percent of workers say it is “too cold.”
  • 22 percent of workers said that a “too hot” work environment made it difficult to concentrate, while 11 percent of workers said the same about a “too cold” work place.
  • 10 percent of workers say they have fought with a co-worker over the office temperature.

(Not everyone’s unhappy, though:  54 percent of workers described their workplace’s temperature as “just right.”)

On the surface, office temperature might seem like such an insignificant worry, but the fact that it affects production for one third of workers…well, that’s pretty significant.  Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder, suggests that workers and employers work together on this issue to find common ground so productivity doesn’t suffer.

If the office temperature is hampering your employeess ability to work productively, help them find an alternative: Let them come in earlier (the temperature may fluctuate throughout the day, making some times more bearable than others); or move their work space to an unused conference room or office – maybe even a nearby café – for a portion of the day; or simply give them the option to telecommute a few times a month. And if those simply aren’t options, a company fleece would be a pretty decent holiday gift

Any other ideas? Is the thermostat a source of heated debate (pun intended) in your office?

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.
2 comments
Lisa Freire
Lisa Freire

Two of the three of us in our suite love it cold--I was freezing! A coworker in another office lent me a space heater he wasn't using and voila! I'm happy now! I agree with the productivity--I couldn't work because I kept thinking about how cold I was, and if I adjusted the thermostat, I really ticked my office mates off. We're all happy now!

Lisa Freire
Lisa Freire

Two of the three of us in our suite love it cold--I was freezing! A coworker in another office lent me a space heater he wasn't using and voila! I'm happy now! I agree with the productivity--I couldn't work because I kept thinking about how cold I was, and if I adjusted the thermostat, I really ticked my office mates off. We're all happy now!

Trackbacks

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  2. [...] Yep, you read that right. It may sounds simple-to-the-point-of-silly, but a recent survey shows extreme office temperatures can affect worker productivity. It may be hot outside, but that doesn’t mean the a/c has to go [...]

  3. [...] you read that right. It may sounds simple-to-the-point-of-silly, but a recent survey shows extreme office temperatures can affect worker productivity. It may be hot outside, but that doesn’t mean the a/c has to go [...]

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