Updated July 2019
Now that the summer months are upon us, many companies are reaching to turn down the thermostat and ramp up the A.C. As you reach for your coat or cardigan to cover up your goosebumps, you secretly start wondering if White Walkers have taken over your office.
Sometimes companies use a heavy-hand when it comes to room temperature adjustment, and often times they overcompensate. In fact, Co.Design reports that 60% of workers said they were either too hot or too cold in a study of government office buildings.
Beyond causing you slight discomfort throughout the day, a Business Insider article suggests that your freezing office can actually undermine your work performance and sabotage your professional success.
The Cold Slows Down Your Work
When you’re cold, your mind travels to other places. You find yourself daydreaming about snuggling up under a warm blanket with a hot tea in your hand. Having your mind in other places, and not completely focused on your work, is not the best state to be in with regards to productivity.
The Cold Makes You Gain Weight
Let’s face it, when you spend all day behind a desk, there aren’t many options for exercising. For this reason, Americans are already struggling when it comes to gaining weight at the office, and cold temperatures aren’t helping. On warmer days, turning up the A.C. keeps your body in a “thermoneutral zone,” where you don’t need to be active to stay comfortable. In turn, this decreases the number of calories we burn, leading us to want to eat more.
The Cold Makes You Unhappy
A freezing office makes people irritable. A 2008 study in Science magazine shows that, for most people, there is a connection between physical warmth and a person’s attitude. When you’re cold, the people around you appear to be less nice. This can lead to unnecessary tension in the workplace and when you aren’t jelling with your coworkers, you won’t be working at your full potential.
The Cold Makes You More Error Prone
Do you ever have a day when you make a ton of silly mistakes and can’t seem to figure out why? The answer may be that your office is too cold! The cold air from the A.C. distracts you, and puts you off of your A-Game. In fact, Cornell researchers discovered that employees committed 44% more errors in an office at 68 degrees than in an office at 77 degrees. A warm office fires up your brain!