office morale

Keeping Cool - How Office Temperature Impacts Performance, Morale, and Efficiency

April 17, 2023

Have you considered how the temperature of your office impacts your employees’ performance, morale, and efficiency? If you haven’t, it’s about time you did. Multiple studies demonstrate how much office temperature can affect workers’ output.

 office layout

Temperatures That Are Too Hot Can Affect Employee Productivity and Morale

It makes sense that when office employees are too hot, they can become lethargic and agitated. Moods can easily shift when working in environments that are too warm. In turn, that can affect productivity, morale, and performance.


According to a study by researchers at the University of Chicago, who looked at the impact that temperature had on employee production and absenteeism in India, productivity drops up to 4% when workplace environments rise above 80 degrees Fahrenheit.


So, by simply making offices cooler, by using air conditioners or fans, employers can ensure productivity levels don’t drop and employees remain focused and in good spirits.

Temperatures That Are Too Cold Can Affect Employee Productivity and Morale

A study by CareerBuilder came to a similar conclusion: workplaces that are too hot affect productivity. The study found that 22% of workers in the U.S. claimed workplaces that are too hot make it difficult to concentrate on tasks.


But it’s not only offices that have high temperatures that are problematic. 11% of workers in the CareerBuilder study said workplaces that were too cold also affected their concentration levels. And with a reduction in focus, productivity, efficiency, and morale is sure to suffer.


A study by Cornell University found that cold workers are more likely to make errors, too, which is sure to result in inefficiency and low productivity.


According to the Cornell University study, typists reduced their mistakes by 44% and increased their output by an incredible 150% when their offices rose in temperature from 68 degrees Fahrenheit to 77 degrees Fahrenheit.


A study by researchers at the Helsinki University of Technology found exactly the same: workplace performance increases when office temperatures are at 71.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Happy Medium

Looking at the various studies on how temperature affects employees’ performance, morale, and efficiency, it’s easy to see that offices with temperatures in the 70s are ideal for maintaining high productivity levels.

 office performance

Above 80 degrees can create lethargy, poor performance, and errors, as can temperatures in the sixties and below. So, it’s important that employers take note and consistently keep their offices at a happy medium temperature.


By getting the temperature of your office just right, you can maximize efficiency, reduce employee turnover, and retain your top talent. So, if you haven’t actively considered the ideal temperature for your workplace, it’s high time you did.

Make Sure Your HVAC Systems Are in Excellent Working Order

To ensure your office is kept at an ideal temperature, you need to ensure your heating and cooling equipment is in good working order.


Therefore, you should perform regular maintenance checks to make certain everything is working correctly and get a professional to service your equipment on a regular basis.


If you don’t, you could find your HVAC systems fail, and that could cause extreme temperatures in the office. And extreme drops or rises in temperature will affect employee performance, morale, and efficiency much more than slight decreases or increases in temperature.


If your HVAC systems do fail and need repairing, make sure you call reputable air conditioning and furnace repair technicians as soon as possible so that you can get the problem sorted quickly and return to excellent productivity levels.

The Takeaway

Ebenezer Scrooge may have thought of himself as a shrewd businessman when he refused Bob Cratchit’s request to put more coal on the fire, as he immediately thought about the cost of the coal.


But he didn’t stop to consider that his employee could have improved his performance and productivity if he had been warmer. So, don’t make the same mistake as Scrooge.


Workplaces that are too cold or too hot can significantly affect employee performance, morale, and efficiency.


Make sure you adapt the temperature of your office to ensure it is at the optimum temperature for the particular season. Your employees can then give their undivided attention to the tasks they’re performing.


And if you’re planning to renovate your office, make sure systems for controlling the office temperature are included in your plan.

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