There’s a workplace standoff happening on the internet this week between two groups of people — those who love to crank up the air conditioning when the weather turns hot, and those to are left shivering at their keyboards in winter sweaters, stashing space heaters under their desks to thaw their frozen fingertips.
It’s a standoff between the too-hots and the too-colds. The Europes and the Americas, if you will.
Columnist Petula Dvorak frames the discord starkly down gender lines: women are freezing, men are oblivious. But on social media we’ve found plenty of men who agree that it’s too cold in their offices, and a shockingly high number of women who either enjoy their frosty workplaces, or at the very least take pity on sweaty men who have to wear full suits to work.
Whether or not it’s about men versus women — or maybe just men’s clothing versus women’s clothing — we wanted to take a purely unscientific poll of our readers. When the summer heat sizzles, does your office get frigidly cold?
Lest we think this is all about comfort and a battle of the sexes, Petula notes a few important statistics about productivity and our environment:
Frozen workers make more errors and are less productive, according to Alan Hedge, professor of design and environmental analysis and director of Cornell’s Human Factors and Ergonomics Laboratory, who studied office temperatures about a decade ago.
Researchers had their hands on the controls at an insurance office for a month. And when they warmed the place from 68 to 77 degrees, typos went down by 44 percent and productivity went up by 150 percent.
Plus, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that you can save about 11 percent on power bills by raising the thermostat from 72 to 77 degrees.
More indoor weather: