Does a cold office actually make you less productive?

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  • The summer is coming (we think) and we’re preparing for the sweaty tube commutes and uncomfortable chaffing.

    But it’s not all bad. The better weather also brings with it beautiful summer dresses, weekends away at cute coastal towns and nice long, light evenings.

    And luckily, most of us get to enjoy the office air conditioning when the heat rises, and the chillier conditions keep us more alert which equates to being more productive – right?

    Well, actually, maybe not.

    Researchers looked at data from 500 participants to find out whether the temperature of your office could be affecting just how productive you are, and the results showed that while the women were able to perform tasks to a higher standard when in warmer environments, men did better when the room was cooler.

    By setting the room temperature from 16.2 degrees to 32.6 degrees, those behind the study concluded that warmer = more productive – though not just for women, for everyone.

    ‘Ultimately, our results potentially raise the stakes for the battle of the thermostat, suggesting that it is not just about comfort, but also about cognitive performance and productivity,’ they said.

    ‘Given the relative effect sizes, our results suggest that in gender-balanced workplaces, temperatures should be set significantly higher than current standards.’

    Stuffy office it is, then.

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