It should come as no surprise that your comfort level in the workplace affects your productivity. Studies show that productivity levels increase when the office temperature is at an optimal level. However, what that optimal level should be is up for debate.
What is the Optimal Office Temperature?
Universities and government agencies have conducted research to find the best temperature range for workplace environments. In most of the studies, the best temperature was 70 to 73 degrees Fahrenheit. Other studies from respected organizations had a range of 74 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. One study showed that a temperature of 74 degrees Fahrenheit was comfortable for about 70% of the research participants.
Other Factors to Keep in Mind
When dealing with comfort levels, there are other factors in play. The season must also be taken into consideration. People expect the temperature to be warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter. This means that the optimal temperature will change throughout the year depending on the season.
Humidity levels are also important for office productivity. A 40% relative humidity level is good for year-round comfort. In summer a dehimidofier can help maintain the humidity, while in winter a humidifier may be needed.
Clothing also affects comfort levels. In the summer, people wear thinner and lighter clothes to stay cool, whereas in winter, people tend to dress in layers and with thinker clothes. During winter the optimal temperature can be a little lower because people dress warmly. In the summer, with lighter clothing, office workers may prefer a slightly higher temperature.
Personal temperature is also a factor in productivity. Clothes affect the personal temperature. Your age and body mass index (BMI) also affect your personal temperature. Older individuals or people with less body fat tend to feel the cold more. Heavier people are better insulated so don’t feel the cold as much. This is why it’s difficult to find an optimal temperature that suits everyone.
With so many factors to take into consideration, it’s hard to find an office temperature that will increase productivity for everyone. For many offices, it’s trial and error.
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