Research has shown that office temperature is likely to influence worker productivity. Within a certain range of temperatures, workers typically are more productive. When an office is too hot or too cold, workers' productivity typically drops. What is considered the ideal office temperature can vary, but it generally is considered to be 70° to 73° Fahrenheit (21.1° to 22.8° Celsius). Some experts, however, believe that an office temperature as high as 77° Fahrenheit (25° Celsius) will result in the greatest productivity.
Studies on the effect of office temperature on worker productivity typically measure such things as the workers' output levels, efficiency and accuracy. Research has shown, for example, that workers typing on keyboards usually are more productive and have fewer errors when the office temperature is 77° Fahrenheit (25° Celsius) than when it is 66° Fahrenheit (18.8° Celsius). Many studies suggest that workers are most productive when the office temperature is about 71° or 72° Fahrenheit (21.7° to 22.2° Celsius). Productivity tends to decrease more suddenly as temperatures decrease below 68° Fahrenheit (20° Celsius) and more gradually as temperatures rise past 75° Fahrenheit (23.9° Celsius).
Effects of Clothing
Some experts believe that the ideal temperature range can vary at different times of the year. One reason is because people typically dress according to the temperature outside, rather than the temperature inside the building where they will be. For example, people usually wear fewer and lighter clothes in the summer and more and heavier clothes in the winter. This can affect how hot or cold they feel at certain temperatures, so they might feel colder in the summer and warmer in the winter at the exact same temperature because they are wearing more or less clothing. The effects of this on the ideal office temperature, however, is generally considered to be small.
Importance to Businesses
Businesses might be concerned about how office temperatures affect worker productivity for several reasons. The main reason, of course, is that they typically want their workers to be as productive as possible during their working hours. If a business can do something to increase its workers' productivity, such as providing a work environment that is the proper temperature, it usually will want to do it.
Another reason why businesses might be concerned with office temperatures is the costs that are associated with heating or cooling a building. If a company is paying to heat or cool an office to a certain temperature that it doesn't realize will actually make its workers less productive, it could be costing itself money in two ways. A company could save money and help its workers be more productive by keeping the office temperature within the ideal range at all times.