Is the Office Temperature Hurting Your Productivity?

By Han Mai

The current “optimum” office temperature is based on a 1960’s formula based on the average worker of that time — a 154-pound, 40-year-old man.

Well, it’s actually based on his resting metabolism.

Because the workforce is turning over more females and younger workers — and their physiology is much different from the 60’s prototype — it’s time we updated the formula. CareerBuilder conducted a poll showing that a third of workers found the temperature in their office to be uncomfortable. Another study discovered that people make more mistakes and get less work done when the air temperature is between 68 and 72 °F than when it is between 74 to 76°F.

So what’s the best temperature for your specific needs? Well, before putting a number on it, it’s good to consider the type of work that’s being done. For more creative fields (marketing, design, etc), warmer temperatures (73 to 78°F) are more conducive to creativity and decision-making as people tend to take on harder decisions when they’re warm.

Is the office temperature inhibiting your productivity?

Is the office temperature inhibiting your productivity?

There’s also been evidence that people are more accurate and less likely to make mistakes in warm temperatures. However, if your work involves more less experimental tasks like copy-editing or data entry, colder temperatures will help keep you awake and alert. At the end of the day, it all boils down to keeping the office at a comfortable temperature for employees to accomplish their tasks without having to reach for that extra layer.