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Is There a Chill in Here? How Cold Workplaces Can Put a Freeze on Productivity

  • Battles over thermostat settings are common this time of year, with some workplaces trying to avoid turning on the heat for as long as possible
  • Cold temperatures can lead to a loss of focus and productivity in employees
  • Options for maintaining comfort range from space heaters to exercise breaks

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

As temperatures drop during the autumn season, office battles over the thermostat heat up. Employees may disagree over a comfortable setting, and managers may seek to knock it down a few degrees to reduce overhead costs.

With remote work options becoming more permanent, employees may have more control over this issue – though they too might want to keep the thermostat low to keep their home heating bills more affordable. But a recent article in Entrepreneur suggests that chillier working environments are actually a drag on productivity.

  • The article cites a Cornell University study which found that employees working in a cold setting made 44 percent more errors than employees in a warmer climate
  • The body expends more energy trying to keep itself warm during cold temperatures, which can also lead to a loss in focus
  • Options for keeping employees warm include space heaters, heated blankets, adequate clothing, and even light exercise breaks
  • Be cautious about the risks of certain options, such as fire hazards from space heaters and drowsiness from heated blankets

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