Anyone that’s worked in an office has probably experienced the dreaded thermostat war. It’s the on-going battle between co-workers that find the office too hot or too cold, with constant adjustments being made to the heating and air conditioner to get the desired temperature.
Of course, it’s hard for people to agree on what the ideal temperature is, which is adjusting the thermostat can be so contentious in your average office! So, how exactly can you find the ideal temperature to satisfy everyone in the office?
It’s a tricky process but there are some tricks you can employ to find a comfortable temperature that will keep everyone happy.
Here’s 4 tips for maintaining a comfortable temperature in the office:
Stick with the Official Recommendation
While there is no official requirement for workplace temperatures, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does have an official recommendation for the ‘ideal’ working temperatures.
This recommendation is to set the thermostat between 68 and 76F and humidity between 20 to 60%. An average office should benefit from a temperature of approximately 72F, although this can differ depending on the location of the office and the current season.
So, stick between this temperature range and you should avoid too many issues. Explain to anyone that finds it uncomfortable that these are recommended settings, only adjusting them if you find there are lots of complaints.
Encourage Suitable Attire
Your office may be cooler or warmer than average, so the thermostat may go up or down depending on the conditions. To ensure minimal tampering with the heating or air con, encourage all employees to wear attire that is suitable for the office.
For instance, if people are always turning the heating up then suggest wearing more layers to avoid feeling too cold. If it’s too warm, encourage lighter office attire!
Doing so means you can stick to a specific temperature range and employees can remove or add clothing if they feel it’s still not comfortable enough.
Talk with Employees
Try getting feedback from everyone to see what trends there are regarding the office temperature.
Communication is important when trying to keep everyone happy, as you need to know what problems employees may have. Rather than simply adjusting the settings to what you think is best, speak with everyone to find what temperature is preferred by the majority.
If someone is still unhappy with this, explain the situation and try to avoid creating unnecessary tensions and grudges. Simply let them know that this the preferred temperature for most people, which is why it’s the current setting – they should feel less annoyed because they are at least
Be Flexible for Different Seasons
The ideal office temperature will change depending on the time of year. The HVAC will be used more often during summer while the heating will be usually be on more often during winter. Make sure you are flexible with the temperature settings to accommodate the different seasons!
Another handy trick is to slightly adjust the work schedule for the season. For instance, if it’s very cold during winter consider pushing back the starting time by an hour to give employees the chance to get comfortable before they arrive. This means less chance of feeling uncomfortable due to the office temperatures!
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