Office Temperatures can be a Hot Topic

December 15, 2009 ( – Having an employee who is too cold or too hot in the office is more than a source of potential workplace friction; it can eventually lead to worker productivity issues, a new study finds.

Some 33% of those participating in a new CareerBuilder survey said their employer’s office temperature (22% too hot and 11% too cold) made it much harder for them to keep their minds on their work.

Overall, according to a CareerBuilder survey, 27% of those responding to the poll say their office is hot enough to roast chestnuts while 19% said they sat at their desks dreaming of a crackling campfire. The only bright spot for the beleaguered office manager: 54% said the temperature was “just right.”

Office temperatures can lead to strained relationships with colleagues. Some 10% of workers said they have fought with a co-worker over the issue.

In the minds of some workers, a chilly office is just a sign of the economic times; 19% feel that their company has turned down the office thermometer this year to save on their utility bill.

“There are many factors that can affect work place productivity,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder, in the news release. “If temperature is a concern, workers and employers can easily work together to find common ground so productivity does not suffer.”

The poll was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of among 4,285 U.S. workers (employed full-time; not self-employed; non-government); ages 18 and over, between August 20 and September 9, 2009.