At What Temperature Should You Set the Office Thermostat?

Twenty-three percent of employees surveyed by CareerBuilder say their office is too cold, while 25% say it’s too hot. One in five workers (20%) has argued with a coworker about office temperature, and 18% admit they have secretly changed the temperature in the office during the winter.

Drilled down by gender, 13% of men say they are too cold in the office, while 28% say they are too hot. Thirty-one percent of women are too cold, and 22% too hot. Broken down by industry, information technology has the most comfortable employees, with 70% saying the temperature in their work environment is just right. Forty percent of manufacturing employees say their work environment is too hot, and nearly one-third (32%) of financial services employees are too cold in their offices.

According to the survey, the temperature of the office space can have a significant impact on the performance of the workforce and their productivity. More than half of employees (53%) said sitting in an office that is too cold has a negative impact on their productivity, while 71% said the same about a warm environment. Women are more likely than men to be negatively affected by both too cold and too warm environments—58% are affected by cold (versus 47% of men) and 74% by hot environments (versus 68% for men).

To keep warm when the office environment is too cold, employees:

  • Dress in layers – 44%;
  • Drink hot beverages – 36%;
  • Wear a jacket all day – 31%;
  • Wear a heavy sweater – 27%;
  • Use a space heater – 15%; and
  • Use a blanket – 7%.