Jul 16, 2019 | Updated: 10:46 AM EDT

Women Work Better in Warmer Offices

Jun 02, 2019 12:07 AM EDT


Sexism has always been one of the issues circulating the business industry when women started to take on jobs. Several concerns have been dealt with making it easier for women to pursue their career and advance their personal goals. However, recent claims of sexist air conditioning have plagued the offices and it is causing concern among women in the workplace. In fact, the results of a new study show that the performance of a woman in the workplace is greatly held back by overly cold office spaces.

Most of the climate control system used in offices are based on the body temperature and metabolic rate of a man in his 40s, which is inherently 30% faster than that of a woman's. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has currently implemented rules that allow the temperatures in the offices to go as low as 16 degrees Celsius. This, however, is lower than the recommended 20 degrees by the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers to create a comfortable working environment for both men and women.

New research from the University of California shows women perform considerably worse in office temperatures that go as low as 16 degrees Celsius. In fact, they are not able to catch up with the tasks at hand until the temperature is adjusted to at least 22 degrees Celsius.

"It has been recorded that women like the warmer temperature indoors compared to that of men, but the idea now is that such differences are only a matter of preference," said Tom Chang, author of the study. He is an associate professor of business economics and finance at the USC Marshall School of Business.

"What the study looked into is not on whether you like the air condition temperature or not. Rather, we focused on the observations on the actual performance of the employee on the tasks at hand that revolve around math and verbal dimensions. How hard a person works concerning these topics is greatly affected by the temperature in the room they are exposed to."

Most business owners invest in the best technologies and provide the best working spaces for their employees to be productive. However, this study shows that checking and regulating the temperature in the office may be the secret to success.

"The current air conditioning temperatures that are being followed in most offices were a product of research conducted in the 1960s. "An interesting thing that we learned from the study is not about temperatures, it is about how it is affecting the meaningful performance of one's tasks in the office," said Dr. Chang.

The results of the research were published in the journal Plos One.

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