Workplace Temperature Can Affect Employee Creativity and Output

If the temperature is not ideal – whether it’s too hot that you’re sweating like a baller, or too cold that you can’t feel your fingers – you’re more likely to be unproductive.

By , Contributor

Have you ever noticed that it’s hard to focus on what you’re doing whenever the temperature gets too hot or too cold? It’s like your brain malfunctions and all you can think of is how cold or hot it is.

Well, this is how workplace temperature affects employees. If the temperature is not ideal — whether it’s too hot that you’re sweating like a pig, or it’s too cold that you can’t feel your fingers — you’re more likely to be unproductive for the day than in a temperature you are comfortable with. And this is proven by research.

According to studies, room temperature has a direct effect on employees’ productivity at work. The ideal temperature to generate more employee productivity is between 70 to 73 degrees Fahrenheit (21.1 to 22.8 degrees Celsius). Some experts, however, contend that employee productivity is at the greatest when the room temperature is set at around 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius).

So How Did They Come Up with These Results?

Studies observed how the office temperature affects worker productivity by measuring the employees’ accuracy, efficiency, and output. Employees who use keyboards at work have shown more productivity and fewer errors when room temperature is set at 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) rather than 66 degrees Fahrenheit (18.8 degrees Celsius).

Workplaces with temperatures that are too hot also affect employee productivity. Studies show that a workplace with temperature higher than 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) can result in poor employee performance.

Employees Are Not Computers

Some companies explain that the reason why office temperatures need to be below 73 degrees Fahrenheit is for maintenance — to prevent computer systems and servers from overheating. The problem is that the office isn’t just made up of office equipment or hardware. It also has humans as workers, and workers are not computers.

Employees are humans who feel and think. And if they feel it’s too cold or it’s too hot, then they’d find it difficult to concentrate on work and be productive. They’d find it hard to think because, as I’ve said, all they could think of is how uncomfortable they feel.

Finding a Common Ground… or Should I Say Temperature?

To increase productivity in the workplace, find a suitable temperature that everyone can agree on. Don’t go sneaking around and changing A/C settings when no one’s looking. Discuss amongst yourselves if there’s anything that can be done. For those who easily get cold, always keep a jacket or sweater handy so you have something to fight off the cold in case the temperature gets too low for you. If all else fails, try and see if telecommuting would be more practical. Many companies that want to adopt more virtual office systems and do away with physical setups do allow employees to work right in the comfort of their own homes. So better consider the idea and see if that’s possible.

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Nancy Perkins, a full-time mommy wannabe, has been a freelance online writer for two years now. She loves sharing information on health, business, technology, fashion, women's issues and motherhood. Nancy lives life to its fullest each day and is dreaming of retiring on an island she will someday own.

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