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We’ve all had the experience of being uncomfortable with the temperature in any given situation, whether that means being too hot or too cold. Not only can being unhappy with the temperature of the environment you’re in make everything less pleasant, but it can have other effects on your mood, focus and mental state as well.

Temperature plays a big role in our everyday lives, from how happy we are with our workplace to enjoying the restaurant we’re visiting to making stressful situations a little less stressful. While we don’t have any control over what the outside temperature is, you’ve probably noticed that certain types of weather affect your mood more than others. For example, extreme levels of heat tend to increase irritability in people while frigid temperatures can negatively impact productivity.


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Understanding how temperature and weather can influence how we feel, our moods and our energy levels can help inform us on what temperature might be ideal for any given situation. Temperature affects everyone differently, but generally certain temperatures may be better for certain situations. For some, the impact of temperature may be felt more strongly, making it even more important to optimize your environment’s temperature whenever you can. Temperature can be especially important in the workplace because you want people to reach certain goals, stay energized and be productive. As a business owner you may have dealt with thermostat wars in your workplace before, when some employees like the temperature warmer while others prefer it cooler. You want everyone to be comfortable, but you’re not sure which temperature would be best for the majority of your employees. Choosing the right temperature for your business may end up having a bigger effect on your employees than you thought and adjusting the temperature accordingly is likely to lead to improvements in your employees’ moods and productivity.

Why Temperature Matters:

You may think the right temperature is purely for comfort, but it’s really more about avoiding the wrong temperature. Temperatures that are too hot or too cold can have a negative impact on more than just our comfort. The wrong temperature can negatively impact how we feel, think and how productive we are. These are all good reasons why business owners should pay attention to what the temperature inside their business is.

Mood: The temperature that we’re in can cause us to behave in certain ways. Research has shown that warmer temperatures can inspire feelings of friendliness. It is possible to be too warm though. When temperatures are hot people may actually begin to feel more agitated and irritable. Of course for your business you’d probably prefer employees to feel friendly rather than irritable so you want to be careful it’s not too hot. Alternatively, cold temperatures may make employees feel less sociable and want to isolate themselves rather than seek out connections. If you have a business that requires a lot of collaboration or communication then it’s especially important to avoid temperatures that are too warm or cold.

Movement: The temperature of our environment elicits a response from our body which can either be positive or negative. For example, cold, frigid temperatures will naturally cause our muscles to tense up. When this happens, we tend to focus less on the task at hand and more on how our body is responding to the cold. This means that if the office is set to a low temperature then employees may struggle with concentration and staying on track with their tasks. This can be especially noticeable during the summer months, which may sound surprising. That’s because during the hotter months, offices tend to be kept colder thanks to air conditioning, but this can also lead to more of a dramatic temperature difference that employees will have to adjust to each time they enter the building.

On the flip side, when our environment is too hot, it can affect our movement by making us feel more sluggish and tired. If your workplace is kept too hot, then employees are more likely to feel tired and sluggish and therefore complete their work more slowly.

Pace: Temperature not only affects our movement and how we’re feeling, but it can also have a big impact on how quickly or slowly we work. This means that temperature can affect your business and how your employees perform. When we’re in a cold environment it’s our natural instinct to seek out warmth. This often means that when employees are cold, they’re more likely to rush through things. This may sound like a good thing, but in actuality, it really means that employees aren’t spending the time they need to on things and are rushing through interactions with others. This can slow down or hinder how your employees collaborate and form relationships with one another, which can ultimately hurt your business’ growth.

The Best Temperature for the Workplace:

Now that you know how the wrong temperature can affect your employees and your overall business, you’re probably wondering what temperature is best. In order to support employees’ productivity, collaboration and focus as much as possible you want to set a temperature that will be comfortable for the most people. In general, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration recommends a temperature between 68 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit as ideal for the workplace. Most people however, will be comfortable working in a temperature that’s between 70 and 73 degrees Fahrenheit though.

Of course, there’s no one size fits all and it will ultimately depend on what you and your team find most comfortable, though the recommendation from OSHA is a good place to start. It’s important to speak with your team about what they find comfortable to help you come to an agreement about temperature. Also, regular HVAC maintenance will make it easier to keep your workplace at a consistent temperature and help ensure your system is running efficiently. It may also help to invest in a smart HVAC system that allows you to control temperatures by zone to help ensure the temperature is consistent throughout your business.

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