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May 2 2014

Is the office thermostat affecting your productivity?

A study by Cornell University set out to determine the role temperature plays in an office setting. As it turns out, it’s quite impactful. Employees in low temperatures (20°C) made 44% more errors than those in warmer settings (25°C). Researchers discovered that low temperatures not only made subjects uncomfortable, but the chill distracted them from their work tasks. In cold conditions employees dispensed a substantial amount of energy and concentration just on staying warm.

The uncomfortable environment not only took a toll on employees’ comfort levels, but on company profits as well. The study estimated that employees in colder setting cost employers 10 percent more per hour than those working in optimal temperatures.

“Our ultimate goal is to have much smarter buildings and better environmental control systems in the workplace that will maximize worker comfort and thereby productivity," says Alan Hedge, Cornell University professor of design and environmental analysis.

Before reaching for the thermostat, think about the impacts of a chilly office.

 

Tags: employee well-being,employee productivity,workspace environment,

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