Your Freezing Cold Office is Killing Women’s Productivity
It’s the hottest part of summer, and if you work in an office and identify as female, then one or more of the following is likely true:
Your outfit was made for Christmas, not Christmas-in-July
You keep a “desk sweater” on the back of your chair
You are currently running a space heater under your desk while the heat index outside registers at/below insufferable
- You have a special place on your desk where you stash your rings when they start sliding off of your fingers
- You find sweet relief by sitting inside your car where the internal temperature hovers around a suffocating 140 degrees F
I mean, this is how most women, who make up half the labor force! are living day in and day out at their offices.
Sheesh...when you say it out loud like that...this is ridiculous!
Research out of Berlin, published this spring, basically found that when Women’s Winter comes in the dead of summer, it’s killing women’s productivity and cognitive ability.
They studied 543 students, giving each a verbal and math test in different office climates. When temperatures were warmer, the women out-performed men in math and verbal tasks. “The increase in female performance in response to higher temperature is significantly larger and more precisely estimated than the corresponding decrease in male performance,” reported study leads Chang and Kajackaite.
They suggest that in gender-mixed workplaces, “management” can expect to get a little more out of everyone if the thermostat were set higher than current standards. Not to mention the implicit morale boost that comes from being provided comfortable work conditions.
But what standards, you may ask? Who’s in charge of keeping the meat locker dialed in at just below freezing in both celsius and Fahrenheit? A 2015 study spilled the snowflake beans, revealing that the “model” used to inform building thermostats was calibrated to the body heat production and metabolic rate of … men! Specifically, a 40-year-old man weighing about 154 pounds.
Those researchers—two men—also confirmed that employees who are too cold are less productive. More so than women, men typically have more layers to shed to get more comfortable...as opposed to using a Snuggie to envelop oneself inside and type with rigid frost-bitten icicles where there used to be fingers.
They also pointed out that a slightly warmer office uses less energy and is better for the environment. So, ‘ole Boris and Wouter said, men should “stop complaining” for the sake of the planet. Here here!
Ladies, we’d love to know, what are your tricks for surviving Women’s Winter at the office?