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Tame those office temperature tantrums!

Disputes over office temperature are relatively common among office staff. According to a study conducted by the International Facility Management Association, more than 50% of office workers report being unhappy with the temperature in their workplace. This dissatisfaction can lead to heated disputes or chilly relations among office staff, as people have different preferences for temperature and different comfort levels.

For nearly 100 years, recommended temperatures for offices have been based on the body size and fat-to-muscle ratios (and typical clothing) of men, who tend to prefer temperatures around 72 degrees. Women feel colder than men at the same air temperature and prefer settings around 77 degrees.

Besides being uncomfortable, the the wrong temperature can reduce productivity, as chilly workers fidget to get warm and overheated workers get move sluggishly.

Many factors can impact the temperature in an office, such as the building’s HVAC system, the number of windows and doors, and the location of the office within the building. This can make it difficult to find a temperature setting that suits everyone’s needs and preferences.

Therefore, it is essential for office managers to address the issue of office temperature and work towards finding a solution that works for everyone. This can help to minimize disputes among staff and create a more comfortable and productive work environment.

Here are some tips to help you settle disputes over office temperature.
  1. Listen to your team’s concerns: The first step in resolving disputes is to listen to all parties involved. Encourage your team to express their concerns and provide feedback on the current temperature setting. By doing so, you can gain a better understanding of what the problem is and how to address it.
  2. Consider the nature of the work: The temperature setting that may work well for one department may not be suitable for another. For example, employees who work in an IT department may prefer cooler temperatures to protect electronic equipment, while employees who work in the billing center may prefer warmer temperatures. In exam rooms and waiting areas, patient comfort is also a major concern. Consider the nature of the work and the tasks performed by each department when setting the temperature.
  3. Evaluate the office space: The layout and design of your office space can also impact the temperature. If certain areas of the office are warmer or cooler than others, it may be necessary to adjust the temperature settings in those areas. You may also want to consider investing in temperature control systems that allow for more flexibility in setting temperatures in different areas of the office.
  4. Communicate the temperature settings: Once you have determined the temperature settings that work best for your team, make sure to communicate them clearly to everyone. You can do this by sending out an email, posting signs around the office, or having a team meeting to discuss the new temperature settings. This way, everyone is on the same page, and there is less room for misunderstandings or disagreements.
  5. Offer alternative solutions: If some employees still find the temperature uncomfortable, consider offering alternative solutions. For example, you could provide personal fans or heaters for those who feel too cold or too hot. You could also encourage employees to dress in layers so that they can adjust their clothing to their comfort level.
  6. Create a policy you can refer to when attempting to settle spats. Here’s a sample policy on temperature you can customize for your office.

In conclusion, settling disputes over office temperature requires active listening, careful consideration of the nature of work, evaluation of the office space, clear communication, and offering alternative solutions. And, good luck with all that.










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