Cold Office: Ways to Keep You And Your Office Space Warm
" I write mostly in the office in the shed outside at home, but it can get very cold. I write best on the train among people. As a writer, you spend so much time away from people ". - Dermot Healy
Is your office always this cold, or is it you? Surely, you have wondered. If your office is like most, it is probably cold.
Regarding office ambiance, some employees are infamous for favoring a cold office; on the other hand, many employees prefer a warmer and cozy office environment. It is always a matter of dispute whether the office temperature should be warm or cool. As winter nears, more employees prefer a work environment that is not too cold and somewhat warm.
According to a recent study, the average office temperature is 9 degrees Fahrenheit, cooler than what is considered comfortable for most people. This isn't just an inconvenience; it can have major consequences for employees. Chilly offices can cause everything from lower productivity to increased absenteeism.
So, what can you do to keep your employees happy and healthy in a frigid office? Continue reading for some helpful hints.
Why Are Offices So Cold?
While variable reasons lead to an office space being cold, the air conditioning at a cooler temperature still remains constant. The central A/C or the air cooling system is usually set at a temperature that is most likely cold for many employees.
The thermostat in your office might be set to a temperature too cold for you. The OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) recommends that an office maintains the thermostat between 68℉ and 76℉.
Apart from these reasons, there are other probable reasons why the office space is cold. One could be the air sipping into your office from a nook, leaving you to experience the chills.
Another reason is poor ventilation. Poor ventilation is bad for any space. It can lead to condensation, bad air quality, and chronic cold or other respiratory diseases.
Several reasons may lead upto an office space being cold, besides your city actually being cold. A cold office has its own set of impacts on the employees. Let’s have an understanding of these impacts.
Impact of Cold Office Temperature on Employees
Studies have shown that a dip in temperature has certain effects on female employees. Women prefer a temperature warmer than men. Men tend to be more comfortable and productive when temperatures are slightly cooler.
The study reported that women could improve their math and analytics problem-solving by 1.76% for every 1.8 degrees of temperature increase. For men, a slight temperature change didn't affect overall comfort level and efficiency. The reports also suggest that office temperatures are more suitable for the metabolic rates of men.
Another study, conducted by researchers at Cornell University, New York, looked at how different indoor temperatures affected office workers. They found that when office temperatures were at 20 C, employees resulted in a 44% decrease in cognitive function and accuracy. However, productivity was significantly better when the temperature was raised to 25 C.
According to the study, there was an expanse of 10% per hour per employee because employees who were feeling cold were distracted.
In-House Survey at Vantage Circle
We surveyed our employees, asking them to vote for their preferred office temperature. The results were interesting and reassuring. The employees were offered the option of a Cold temperature, a Warm temperature, and an option of neutrality.
The poll reports helped us find -
i. Among the employees who voted for a cold temperature were 65% male and 35% female.
ii. Of Employees who voted for a warmer temperature had a count of 59% female, and 41% male employees
iii. 100% of the voters who opted for the ‘Not concerned’ option were male employees.
These results show that every employee has their own preferences regarding office temperature. While a bigger percentage of male employees prefer a cooler temperature, more female employees find it comfortable at a warmer temperature.
It is worth acknowledging that a large number of male employees find it easy when the temperature is warm and a great section of female employees still prefers a cooler office temperature.
These results suggest that it is about setting the right office ambiance catering to the ease and productivity of both male and female co-workers.
So, what does all of this imply?
According to the findings, paying attention to indoor temperatures could be one approach to boost staff productivity and performance. Reducing the temperature of your office to 66 degrees may not be feasible; making little tweaks - such as turning down the heat or equipping staff with personal mugs and blankets, could help create a more comfortable environment.
How To Stay Warm In A Cold Office?
Here are some ways to keep your office warm-
1. Setting the right temperature on the air conditioner
Setting the right temperature on the air conditioner is quite a hassle, especially when the employees' preferences vary. When the in-office temperature is cold, and it’s fall season, we can come to common standards and set the AC temperature high. Also, we can give fellow employees some liberty of changing and setting the temperature if they find it cold.
2. Dress for the weather
Wearing layers will help you keep warm without cranking up the heat for everyone else in the office. Using a heated blanket or a shawl will definitely shield you from chilling air around your office space and keep you in comfort. Wear a sweater or a fleece jacket, pair it with your winter jeans or sweatpants, and top it off with a shoulder cap. Dressing for the weather will help in wind-blocking and protect you from cold.
3. Use a space heater
If your office is particularly cold, using a space heater can help create a more comfortable office environment. Just be sure to use it safely and keep it away from any flammable materials. An energy-efficient heater is easily available, and using one would be pleasant for both you and the environment.
4. Close doors and windows
Keeping doors and windows closed can help prevent drafts of air from making your office even colder. Keeping the doors and windows closed prevents the in-flow of cool wind, saving you from the spine-shivering breezes.
5. Move around
If you can, try to move around periodically to keep your blood flowing and your body temperature up. This will help keep you warm and protect your locomotion from getting stiff. Also, moving around will help you discover new things in your office and might help you find the A/C remote or an electric kettle.
6. Stay hydrated
Proper hydration is essential irrespective of the temperature. Drinking plenty of fluids will help keep your body temperature up.
7. Being considerate towards peers
Being considerate towards your fellow peers is an invaluable form of appreciation. Your best friend, a new joinee, or even any other colleague might be feeling cold. At least we can understand them and set the right temperature or get them a glass of warm water.
Following these tips can help you stay warm and more productive in your office.
Helpful Products In a Cold Office
If you work in a cold office, you can get a few things to make your work environment more comfortable. Some helpful products include -
1. A space heater
If you find yourself constantly shivering at your desk, it might be worth investing in a small space heater. Make sure to get one approved by the management. This can help warm the area where you work.
2. A blanket
Another simple solution is to keep a blanket at your desk when you start to feel chilly. This way, you can stay cozy without making the rest of the office hot. This can be used to drape over your legs or shoulders when you start to feel the cold.
3. A mug warmer
A mug warmer is an essential help in a cold office. A warm cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate is something we all love. A mug warmer will keep your favorite drink warm throughout the day.
4. A pair of cozy socks
A warm fuzzy sock is all you need to make yourself comfortable at your chilly work desk. Grab a pair of warm woolen socks to keep your feet warm and toasty.
5. A desk lamp
If you are still looking for something else to rid of the freezing office desk, you can get a desk lamp. The lamp can provide additional warmth and light in a cold office, thus warming up the place.
6. Hand warmers
Do your freezing hands sabotage your work? Your work might just pile up if you keep rubbing your hands every 30 seconds. Instead, get yourself a hand warmer. These are great for keeping your hands warm when you're typing or using a mouse.
7. A hot water bottle
A bottle can be filled with hot water and placed under your desk to provide extra warmth to your feet and legs. A hot water bottle will also keep your beverages warm throughout the day. With this addition, you will feel warm all day long.
8. Warm clothing
Layering up is the best way to get rid of cold. Cover yourself with socks, sweaters, and scarves to keep yourself warm throughout the day. This protects you from cold and speeds up your pace at work.
9. Fingerless Gloves
Fingerless Gloves are useful in any office environment as they easily let you fiddle with your phone or laptop without the hassle of opening the gloves every now and then. The gloves also keep your hands warm.
10. Heating Pad
If trapped in a freezing office room, a heating pad can be a lifesaver. These pads are generally used for cramps and muscle aches, but they can also be used over your legs or on your chair to keep it warm for a long period.
11. Fitness apps/Employee wellness apps
Fitness apps/Employee Wellness apps help office workers stay warm in a cold office and keep their minds charged. They can burn calories and warm up their bodies by participating in in-app fitness tasks. This keeps them motivated to work out even when it's cold outside or within the office. And when they need a break, mindfulness tasks can help them relax and recharge their minds.
What Is A Cold Office?
When most people think of a cold office, they think of an office space that is too chilly. Although it is true, a cold office can also refer to an emotionally or socially uninviting work environment. A cold office can negatively impact employee morale and productivity, making it difficult to attract and retain top talent.
There are several methods for keeping your office cozy — both physically and emotionally.
Thermostat adjustments, the provision of blankets and space heaters, and the maintenance of a functional ventilation system are examples of physical comfort measures. Promoting a cooperative and encouraging atmosphere, fostering open communication, and offering chances for social engagement may help build emotional ease.
Wrapping It Up
Office spaces are our cockpits. This is where we sit and proceed with our work. We spend the majority of our work lives in an office; thus, it is comforting when the office ambiance reassures us.
The right temperature in an office has been a never-ending discussion for the longest time. While many employees find their office space a bit too cold, a good deal of the office crowd still likes a cooler environment.
Studies have shown that different demographics of the office crowd has a personal preference for the right temperature. Although it cannot be generalized, it can be noticed that female employees are more likely to find warmer spaces comforting compared to male employees.
Saying that we cannot deny that many male employees like their office spaces to be warmer, and numerous female employees prefer a cooler office.
We conducted a survey and found some conclusive results. The reports suggests for a common standard in office temperature and the need for understanding amongst employees as winter approaches.
Cold offices have their impacts on the employees, and measuring it with warm clothes and blankets, setting the thermostat right, or having our hot chocolate in a mug warmer will help us keep our bodies and hearts warm for the rest of the day.
Extending my heartfelt thanks for your time!
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