If you find yourself feeling lethargic and unproductive at work it might be more than just your sleep schedule. According to a study by Cornell University referenced here, office temperature can significantly impact worker productivity.
In the Cornell study, temperatures in 9 different office areas were measured every 15 minutes. These temperature readings were then used to analyze worker efficiency by comparing how often the workers used their keyboard and how many errors they made.
According to the results, the indoor temperature that fostered maximum worker productivity was when the thermostat was set for a temperature between 72 and 77 degrees. Workers in office spaces lying within this range used the keyboard twice as frequently (roughly 100% of the time compared to 54%) and had around half the error percentage (25% compared to 10%) compared to workers in colder office spaces. Furthermore, in a similar study conducted at the Helsinki University of Technology, the results showed that offices with temperatures of over 88 degrees had productivity drops comparable to offices with temperatures of under 60 degrees.
The moral of this story? Weigh the costs. Even with the results of these studies, companies will likely find it impossible to please every employee. Furthermore, is the cost of increased heating or cooling worth the bump in productivity? While Professor Hedge from Cornell would argue yes, stating that “on average, raising the temperatures to the ideal zone saves employers two dollars per hour per employee”, at the end of the day the cost/benefit analysis falls to the individual businesses.
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Helsinki Study information courtesy of Examiner.com, “Office Temperatures and Productivity”