Summer Weather Spawns Thermostat Wars

July 17, 2015 By Linda Hardesty

thermostatIn nearly every modern office, “thermostat wars” rage, according to HVAC software consulting firm Software Advice, which conducted a survey of office workers to understand employee preferences regarding office temperatures. The survey found that 50 percent of respondents report being dissatisfied at least several times a month with the temperature of their office.

This dissatisfaction is heavily impacted by the time of year. A majority of respondents say their office temperature is “just right” during the more temperate seasons of fall and spring (54 and 51 percent, respectively). While 57 percent say their offices are “too cold” during the winter, and 43 percent say their offices are “too hot” during the summer. In fact, summer is by far the most divisive season, with the fewest number of employees (26 percent) saying their office temperature is “just right.”

temp chart

A majority of respondents (60 percent) say that having more control over their office’s temperature would increase their productivity. The median preferred office temperature for women is 72 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to 70 degrees Fahrenheit for men.

The frequency of dissatisfaction with temperature increases with age: 46- to 55-year-old employees are 36 percent more likely to be dissatisfied than 18- to 25-year-olds.

A recent article in the New York Times suggests that many office buildings and retail establishments over air-condition on purpose because they see it as a sign of prestige.

Photo of thermostat via Shutterstock

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