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As I write this blog my colleague to my right is wrapped in a cardigan, my colleague opposite me has a hot water bottle on her lap and the chap at the other end of the office has just asked for the air conditioning to be cranked up as he is still cooling down from a lunchtime run around the City.
I’m sure our office is no different to any other office when it comes to thermostat wars. I have worked in two other offices and I am still yet to find “thermo utopia”, the temperature at which the whole office can harmoniously get along with each other and their respective work.
Aside from the constant thermostat murmurs, and the inevitable “ back draft” that we encounter on Monday mornings when we open the office door after the thermostat has been left on 27.5 degrees for the whole weekend (yes, that really does happen), I have been thinking about how the temperature affects productivity in the office.
Fortunately, several studies have been carried out which I will summarise below.
The majority of research has shown an optimal office temperature between 21 and 23 degrees Celsius provides the best air temperature for maximum office worker productivity. However, a well respected study by Cornell University returned a result of 25 degrees Celsius as the optimal temperature. The Department of Health that oversees these kinds of things in the UK recommends 23.3 degrees C after it conducted its own study. It also found that 23.3 degrees C would appease about 70% of people, so you really can’t please everybody.
So can’t we just conclude that the median of 24 degrees C is the best office temperature? Sadly not as further studies have indicated that by altering the temperature by a degree either side could have a 5% or more degradation in productivity.
The studies go on to say that other factors such as the season, clothing, weight, age, climate and humidity should all be taken into account.
So what does this mean for office life? Well unfortunately some people will always be hot and others always cold; it’s just one of those things.
But fear not; if thermostat wars are getting you down and in the way of you being productive you can always contact BCL Legal; we can certainly find you a better job but can’t guarantee that the office will be the perfect temperature.