As the summer is now in full swing and the temperatures outside are high, there has been a lot of attention placed on social media recently surrounding one of the oldest, fiercest battles that is currently being waged within offices around the country…the thermostat setting. Although office temperature seems like a minor issue, it does have a significant negative impact on employee’s productivity and morale.
A recent article from Business News Daily states, office temperature is not only a very personal matter in terms of comfort (likening it to the children’s story Goldilocks & the Three Bears) but also can actually hinder an employee’s productivity if they can’t focus on their work because they are too hot or too cold.
According to the article, “The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) doesn’t mandate employers to maintain specific temperatures in the workplace, but it recommends keeping the thermostat between 68 and 76 F.” Also, according to the Helsinki University of Technology Laboratory for Heating, Ventilating, and Air conditioning, “the ideal temperature for a “typical” office is around 71.6 F.”
After working in an old, historic office building in Boston for over 15 years, I know this battle first hand. As temperatures rise or decrease to an uncomfortable level, productivity steadily declines. People, in fact, spend more energy sweating or shivering than focusing on their work. With that valuable information at hand, it is suggested that employees or employers dealing with this workplace debate, contact a HVAC consultant to review thermostat options that will hopefully please everyone and ease tension. For employers, if this is a hot topic (no pun intended) address it immediately as you want your employees to be performing to the best of their abilities and feel comfortable in their workplace.
Furthermore, having worked in an office setting for 26 years, I know that there are many other overlooked office squabbles that can be equally as contentious and disruptive to your day. My hope in writing this article is to hear from people like you and gain valuable insight to share with employers and employees to keep the peace and find different ways to optimize productivity in the office.
Please submit a comment in the form below this blog to answer: What are the things that you find most distracting at work?
- Kitchen and/or desk cleanliness
- Food smells and/or missing food items
- Loud talking/frequent disruption
- Coworker with a bad attitude
- Other (please elaborate)
Bottom line, working in an office is a give and take relationship, just like any other. For lasting success and positive daily interactions, be careful not to rub anyone the wrong way because you weren’t being mindful. With that being said, if you are uncomfortable, speak up to hiring managers and let them know how it is affecting you. Addressing the issue and finding a happy medium will go a long way and only increase job satisfaction.
After 30 days, I have compiled responses to the survey. Here are the results:
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