How to Resolve the Temperature Debate

Lauren Crain’s office is so cold, she was given a Snuggie when she first started working for Health Labs. She also keeps a small heater at her desk to keep her fingers warm and to keep her toes “from getting frostbite.” The temperature in Lauren’s office in Texas is controlled by the business manager, who lives in California. Lauren finds her office to be freezing but doesn’t mind bundling up.

On the other side of the country, Chris Vancheri, vice president of Coyne PR has a fan blasting from the minute he walks into his New Jersey office until the minute he leaves.

“I change the [thermostat] buttons the minute I walk into a room,” he said. “I’m that guy.”

Whether your office has the climate of a humid rainforest or an icy tundra, it’s undeniable that an uncomfortable office temperature has a significant impact on productivity and workplace comfort.

What should the temperature be?

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) doesn’t mandate employers to maintain specific temperatures in the workplace, but it recommends that employers keep the thermostat between 68 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit.

The ideal temperature for the “typical” office is around 71.6 degrees F, according to the Helsinki University of Technology Laboratory for Heating, Ventilating and Air-conditioning. But, of course, individual preferences vary, and it’s difficult to please everyone.

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