Turn the thermostat to boost productivity

We’ve heard wacky work ideas before, but could a change in temperature wake up your workers?

Turn the thermostat to boost productivity

Too cold in winter, too hot in summer – whoever’s in charge of the thermostat is surely the least popular person in the office. But it seems you could be changing more than mood when you spin the dial.

While it’s hard to get coworkers to agree on a temperature, Cornell University researchers found some decisive numbers in their office experiments. It turns out warmer is better when it comes to productivity.

When the temperature was 20°C workers made 44% more errors and were half as productive than when the thermostat hit a balmy 25°C.

Chilly workers not only make more errors but cooler temperatures could increase a worker's hourly labour cost by 10%, head researcher, professor Alan Hedge estimated. The study also showed that raising the temperature to a “more comfortable thermal zone” was worth about $2 an hour per worker to the employer.

“Temperature is certainly a key variable that can impact performance," Hedge said. “Our ultimate goal is to have much smarter buildings and better environmental control systems in the workplace that will maximize worker comfort and thereby productivity," Hedge added.


Free newsletter

Our daily newsletter is FREE and keeps you up-to-date with the world of HR. Please complete the form below and click on subscribe for daily newsletters from HRD Canada.

Recent articles & video

HRD launches game-changing website redesign

More employers offer flexible benefits with HCSA

Is your workplace culture toxic?

The biggest barrier to Canada's digital transformation

Most Read Articles

Another termination clause bites the dust in superior court

What does an exceptional leader look like?

Why creating a psychologically healthy and safe workplace is crucial