Cold office temperatures may affect women’s productivity at work, study says

3 Things: Cold office temperatures may affect women’s productivity at work

(WBTV) - The battle over the thermostat could be a real problem in the workplace.

Specifically, for women.

Studies have shown that office temperatures are typically colder, in favor of men.

But now, a new study says that extra chill, can actually hurt women’s productivity at work.

Think about your work space. Do you see a lot of women wearing sweaters, blankets and scarves?

A 2015 study found that most office spaces keep their temperature at 70 degrees.

It’s based on a formula that was developed in the 1960s. It’s called the thermal comfort equation.

It considers different factors to calculate how comfortable or uncomfortable someone might feel in a certain temperature.

But here’s the thing - the formula is based a 40-year-old man who weighs about 154 pounds.

That’s not the average employee anymore. Women now make up half of the workplace.

That same study says women generally prefer a warmer temperature.

What’s the big deal? It’s just a comfort thing, right?

No. That’s where this new study comes in.

Researchers say temperature may actually affect workplace productivity.

Researchers from USC and Germany’s WZB Berlin Social Science Center had hundreds of college students perform tasks while they tweaked the temperature of the room.

These were simple things, like doing equations without a calculator or building words from a random group of letters.

Here's what happened.

Women did better when the room was warmer.

For every 1.8 degree increase in temperature, women performed 1.76 percent better on math problems.

Men fared worse when the room was warmer.

For every 1.8 degree increase, they performed .63 percent worse on math problems.

But, the researchers say, the impact wasn’t as great as the cold temperatures were on women.

So, what needs to be done?

Researchers say the key temperature may be 75 degrees.

It says it’s a good balance for everyone, and it could ultimately improve workplace performance.

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