If you run an office of busy workers, you are probably accustomed to at least one of them occasionally asking whether the heating is on. You probably switched it on ages ago, leading you to think that surely this one person is just being awkward. Except that, well, perhaps they aren't...

In research published by Dell and reported by Workplace Insight, 35% of surveyed office workers in the UK blamed unsuitable office temperature for impacted productivity.

What exactly is the "right" office temperature?

You might have long assumed it to be in the region of 70 to 73 degrees Fahrenheit - as, for decades, this was the range cited in the available research, as ThoughtCo. points out. This kind of temperature would suffice for most office workers, the research suggested. However, it was outdated...

That's because the researchers assumed the average office to consist entirely of male employees - as, indeed, most workplaces did until the late twentieth century. However, newer research suggests that office temperatures must also account for women, who now make up about half of the offices.

Women are from Venus... and have a different body chemistry

If you've noticed that it's the female members of your workforce who tend to complain more about feeling too cold, science suggests one good answer as to why. Compared to men, women tend to have lower metabolic rates and more body fat. Consequently, they can be more susceptible to cold.

Therefore, if your workforce has a particularly strong female contingent, you might want to slightly turn up the usual temperature. Nonetheless, the building's design is also a factor worth considering. The larger the office's windows, the warmer it could get - due to more sunlight streaming through.

Meanwhile, higher ceilings can give the air more room in which to move around, requiring your heaters or air conditioners to work overtime (no, not literally). It stands to reason, then, that redesigning the office itself could help you to achieve just the right temperature while reining in the cost of your heating bills. You can find out more at Maris, one respected workplace design firm.

What other factors affect the perceived temperature?

Your employees with a higher BMI (body mass index) could feel the warmth more easily, while the opposite is true for workers whose BMI is lower than average. Meanwhile, workers aged over 55 are usually hampered more easily by the cold.

Still, in your quest to find "just the right" temperature, you should be careful to strike a balance. Understandably, if your workers are either sweating, as can happen in temperatures exceeding 90 Fahrenheit, or shivering, such as in temperatures below 60 Fahrenheit, this can unhelpfully distract them from their work. Consequently, their productivity can falter.

You might need to do a bit of investigative work to achieve the most suitable temperature, but you could soon be rewarded with a team of contented and highly productive workers. Well, as long as you have sorted out other distractions as well, like co-workers talking too loudly...

Author's Bio: 

Riam Chandra is a professional Blogger and Author of many sites.