Office Temperature Wars

Office temperature is causing workers to turn on each other and is also having an impact on productivity. According to a new CareerBuilder survey, nearly half of workers (46 percent) say their office is either too hot or too cold — and 51 percent say sitting in an office that is too cold impacts their productivity, 67 percent say sitting in an office that is too warm does the same.

Fifteen percent of workers say they have argued with a coworker about office temperature (7 percent of men vs. 22 percent of women), and nearly 1 in 5 (19 percent) have secretly changed the office temperature during the summer—13 percent to make it cooler, 6 percent to make it warmer.

The national survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from April 4 to May 1, 2018, and included a representative sample of 1,012 full-time workers in the private sector across industries and company sizes.

Drilled down by gender, survey findings indicate women may feel temperature differently in workplaces from men. Eighteen percent of men say they are too cold, 17 percent too hot; and 36 percent of women are too cold, 19 percent too hot.

Who’s Affected by Office Temperature the Most?
Broken down by industry, retail has the hottest employees, and health care has the coldest.

Top sectors with office temperature that is too hot

  • Retail: 28 percent1
  • Manufacturing: 23 percent2
  • Health care: 19 percent

Top sectors with office temperature that is too cold

  • Health care: 30 percent
  • Retail 24 percent3
  • Manufacturing: 18 percent4

A Battle to Be Comfortable…
Instead of fighting for control over the thermostat, some workers are taking matters into their own hands. To stay at a comfortable temperature at work during the summer, workers say they:

  • Drink cool beverages: 42 percent
  • Dress in layers: 27 percent
  • Use a personal fan: 26 percent
  • Drink hot beverages: 20 percent
  • Wear a jacket all day: 19 percent
  • Use a space heater: 13 percent
  • Use a blanket: 6 percent

Three Ways to Keep Your Cool in Extreme Temperatures
Take action with the following tips, and create a working environment that is neither too hot nor too cold, but just right.

Agree to this degree: As much as it might feel easier to simply change the thermostat behind your co-workers’ backs, a more effective resolution might be to try talking to your co-workers about it and find a compromise.

Take breaks: It’s summer, so enjoy the sun and a little vitamin D. Even if your office temperature isn’t bothering you, a quick break is always a good idea to boost productivity.

Change up your environment: If a particular time of day or office space is too warm or too cold for productive work, talk to your manager about adjusting your work schedule, telecommuting or moving to a conference room for a portion of the day.


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