In the Loop

How to win the battle for your office thermostat

Posted at 10:55 AM on July 16, 2007 by Sanden Totten (2 Comments)

Right now in our headquarters there is a debate going on that I'm sure is being echoed in workplaces across the country. It's a battle that sometimes gets pretty heated . . . or cooled depending on which side is winning. And while there is no magic degree that would meet everyone's needs, that doesn't stop people from making all sorts of arguments on why the office temperature should be set one way or the other.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are some useful arguments you can make to defend your desired office climate.

If you are too hot, you may want to cite this survey from the magazine Personeltoday. They polled office workers in the UK about temperatures in the work place and they found that people said higher temperatures meant they got less done. Crank up that AC.

If you are too cold, you could counter with this study from Cornell University. Rather than relying on workers to judge if temperatures made a difference, they tested the typing speed and the number of errors made by office employees at various temperatures. They found that people do the best when the room is about 77 degrees Fahrenheit! So heat it up already.

Some people take the environmental route, noting that for every degree above 72 you keep it, you save 121 pounds of carbon dioxide from being omitted into the atmosphere.

Of course if you're the building manager and you're sick of being bugged about changing the temperature, you could take the easy way out and install some dummy thermostats near every cube. Apparently, it's a sneaky trick that's pretty common for HVAC companies. And even though they do nothing, employees feel the difference.

Take your pick.


Comments (2)

Thank you...thank you! I keep telling my boss it's too cold in the office. Now, with the study about productivity she'll maybe think about raising the temp in the office.
Heck, it's so cold in my office I wear a light winter coat at my desk. I have a coworker who keeps a blanket at her desk.
Thanks again for providing this information!

Posted by Cindi | July 16, 2007 1:01 PM


Hey Cindi,

Great! I'm glad I could help. Just make sure your boss doesn't see this post or they may be tempted to placate you with a fake thermostat!

But as someone who is also perpetually cold at work, I hope you get your way. Stay warm!

Posted by Sanden Totten | July 16, 2007 1:05 PM


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