Too hot? Too cold? Fighting over the office thermostat

WASHINGTON — One of the biggest employee complaints year round is the temperature of the office. Whether it’s too hot or too cold, a CareerBuilder survey found half of office workers say it’s never “just right.”

And the office temperature, summer or winter, can lead to verbal disagreements.

“Fifteen percent of workers say they’ve argued with a co-worker about office temperature. It is 7 percent of men and 22 percent of women, and I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty accurate for our office,” CareerBuilder’s Ladan Nikravan Hayes told WTOP.

One in five workers in the survey confessed to changing the thermostat without permission and without telling anyone.

Women tend to feel temperature differently than men.

The survey found 18 percent of men say the office is too cold and 17 percent say too hot, but 36 percent of women say their work environment is too cold and 19 percent say too hot.

There are low-tech ways to make yourself more comfortable without creating office drama.

“Forty-two percent of people said they drink cool beverages, 27 percent dress in layers, 26 percent use a personal fan. Others drink hot beverages, wear a jacket all day or use a space heater or a blanket.”

You can also compromise instead of fight.

CareerBuilder says talk to your manager about adjusting your schedule, telecommuting or moving to a conference room or another part of the office.

And take breaks, especially during summer months, by getting out of the office.

“Enjoy the sun and a little vitamin D. A quick break is always a good idea to boost productivity,” CareerBuilder says.

The top sectors where workers say the office temperature is too hot? Retail and manufacturing. Top job where workers say it’s too cold? Health care.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up