Top DC office conflict? Temperature

Hand turning a home thermostat knob to set temperature on energy saving mode. fahrenheit units. Composite image between a photography and a 3D background.(Getty Images/iStockphoto/Olivier Le Moal)

One of the most common points of conflicts in the office is the temperature.

Staffing firm Robert Half said 42% of D.C.-area office workers admit they have had worker conflicts over the temperature.

“I’m too hot. I’m too cold. One is below the vent. One is too far from the vent. Everybody is different. Everybody’s temperatures run different, so it happens all the time,” Beth Sears of Robert Half’s D.C. office told WTOP.

There is definitely thermostat etiquette.

“You can’t just go up to the wall and change it,” Sears said.

Of course, that is assuming you have the ability to change it at all. In many large office buildings, temperature is managed by building maintenance instead of freely accessible, in-room controls.

If you’re uncomfortable, it is better to poll your co-workers to see if you’re in the minority, or if it is something that management needs to address.

Sears suggests it is always best to err on the side of “cool.”

“If it’s a little bit too cold in the office, people can dress for the occasion, if you will. But you can’t really take off too much. You can’t take off your dress shirt.”

There isn’t much help when it comes to what the proper office temperature should be.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s guidelines recommend a workplace temperature ranging from 68 degrees to 76 degrees.

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.

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