Is there an ideal office temperature?

  • Oct 18, 2016

What is the temperature in your office? In workplaces nationwide, there is an ongoing debate over where to set the thermostat. Research shows that office temperature can affect mood, productivity and even how well employees get along. Simply put, if employees feel comfortable with the temperature, they do better work. Cornell University researchers, for example, discovered that the lower the temperature, the more errors employees made. Lower temperatures also were linked to less productivity. Studies show that warmer temperatures tend to make some people uncomfortable and cranky.

Finding the ‘right’ temperature can be difficult. Studies show that many employees feel their workplace is either too cold or too warm. In one study, 42 percent of people said their building is too warm, while 56 percent said it is too cold. Research also shows that women feel cold more often than men, but age also is apparently a factor in how you feel about temperature. In one study, 46-to 55-year-old employees were 36 percent more likely to be dissatisfied with the temperature than their 18- to 25-year-old co-workers.

While temperature seems to be a distinctly individual preference, a study by the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory shows that there is a narrow year-round range that suits most people best and results in maximum productivity. That’s 69.8 to 71.6 degrees. Other studies show that keeping an office between 70 and 73 degrees results in the highest number of employees reporting satisfaction with the temperature.


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