Heating and cooling can be easily overlooked whether you’re at home or in the office. This is because people are aware that heating and cooling is flexible. It can be easily adjusted according to personal preferences. The question is, how should one go about in achieving the ideal home and office temperature?
To get on track, the first thing to do is to determine the ideal temperature. Temperatures at home can be easily adjusted to suit the preferences of the people living in that space but when it comes to office spaces, it is much more difficult to achieve the ideal temperature.
The ideal temperature
As early as now, it is important to establish the fact that there is no fixed ideal temperature. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there is no mandate on the specific office temperature.
However, the OSHA recommends that employers keep the thermostat between 68 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit.
Is it a gender issue?
Are there differences in the temperature requirements of men and women? The short answer is yes.
Research shows that women feel colder than men when out inside the same room with the same thermostat. Specific temperatures were drawn by the Eindhoven University of Technology. According to researchers from the said institution, men prefer rooms at 72 degrees F, while women prefer 77 F. Their preferences differ mostly because of body size and fat-to-muscle ratios.
This information proves to be pertinent if an office space is dominated by a specific gender. So if the number of employees in your office significantly outweigh the number of male employees, you could consider keeping the temperature close to a range that suits female employees more. The same concept applies if you have more male employees than female employees. Remember though that when you decide to do this, do not forget to inform the minority and to provide small comforts to them if it’s necessary.
Subject to the owner’s preferences
The OSHA has recommendations and studies point to the ideal range but at the end of the day, many offices still determine the office temperature that works well for them.
Most offices adjust their temperatures and try to keep the thermostat at the ideal level to boost productivity in the workplace.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg prefers to set the thermostat to 59 F, saying this is the ideal level to boost productivity. This is in stark contrast with former US President’s office thermostat preference, which is known to be quite warm.
All for productivity
Setting and maintaining the ideal temperature is a concern for many employers because the ideal temperature is necessary to boost their employees’ productivity. If the temperature is too low, employers would feel too cold to focus on their assigned tasks. They might also need more frequent coffee breaks to get a break from the cold office atmosphere.
On the other hand, if the thermostat is too low, the employers won’t be able to focus as well because the temperature in the workplace is not comfortable for them.
Factors to consider
Before deciding on the ideal thermostat for your home or office, note that there are some factors at play which has an effect on how people react to temperature.
The first on the list is a person’s body mass index. An overweight individual would have a different reaction to temperature as opposed to someone who has a lighter frame.
Another factor to consider is the age of the people in that space. Older people are more sensitive to cooler temperatures compared to the younger ones.
Then there’s humidity. If the air is too humid, people tend to sweat more. To that end, the relative humidity level is set at 40 percent.
Finding the sweet spot
At this point, we have surmised that setting and achieving the ideal temperature – especially at the workplace – is necessary to boost employee productivity. There are advanced HVAC systems nowadays to help achieve the ideal temperatures in the workplace but it does not solve the debate on the ideal range for your office. To get your office on track, you could ask for employee feedback.
As previously mentioned, the thermostat preferences differ depending on a myriad of factors. Consider the variables at play and make further assessments by asking your employees for their feedback. This will help you determine if the current thermostat is working well for them or if there is a need to adjust.
Maintaining the ideal level
Once you have found the sweet spot or the range that will make your employees feel comfortable in the workplace, the next thing to focus on is to maintain this level. You can try working on your interior setup, providing freebies, and protecting the thermostat.
Rethink the interior setup
It goes without saying that allowing the sun’s rays to peep through a certain space can add to the warmth inside a room or an office space. Make good use of this by investing in a good set of blinds in the office space. Adjust the blinds to allow the sun’s rays to peep through if you want the space to become a bit warmer. Keep the blinds shut if it’s already too warm inside the room or office space.
It’s also a good idea to show support and concern to your employees by offering basic comforts. Even the small things matter so don’t overthink and just do what you think is necessary. Easy access to warm beverages and blankets can go a long way during the winter season. During the summer, you could offer cold treats or add fans in the office space.
Protecting the thermostat
Since individuals generally have different preferences when it comes to the ideal temperature, it’s highly likely that some of your employees will fiddle with the thermostat levels to suit their preferences. You can avoid the possibility of them tinkering with the thermostat by restricting access to the controls. In this regard, limiting the access to the office manager and the maintenance team is a good idea.