Navigate the Battles Over Your Office’s Thermostat
Agreeing on an office thermostat setting is often an exercise in the art of compromise. In a typical business setting, there are persons with long-standing temperature preferences and others with physical issues that require a very specific temperature range. Someone’s usually too warm, and somebody else is always too chilly.
Here’s some advice for maintaining an office thermostat setting that keeps the workplace productive while also preserving a positive environment:
There’s no perfect temperature. Attempting to establish an office thermostat setting that is ideal for everyone at all times is usually ineffective. Aim instead for a “neutral” temperature — not too hot or too cold — that the majority of employees can live with in most cases.
Agree on an acceptable temperature and stick to it. Avoid constant readjustments to the office thermostat setting that ultimately make everyone uncomfortable at one time or another. Use of a programmable thermostat which is password-protected makes the agreed-upon temperature easier to maintain consistently and limits access to a few designated people.
To help make a decision about the best office thermostat setting for most people, here are a couple of reputable references:
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) is the official industry organization that publishes standards for the heating and cooling industry. For optimum comfort and efficiency, ASHRAE recommends maintaining an indoor temperature of 76 degrees during the summer and 72 degrees in the winter.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that sets and enforces U.S. working conditions doesn’t specify a particular office thermostat setting. However, OSHA recommends an indoor temperature range between 68 degrees and 76 degrees.
Allow Other Adjustments
Employers should allow and encourage other measures throughout the office to help employees stay comfortable. This includes altering dress codes to allow employees to wear attire that keeps them comfortable in all seasons. Also, new technology such as micro space heaters and miniature fans that fit on a desktop can be utilized in most offices, as long as units include proper safety functions and instructions for safe operation that are observed.
For more advice about maintaining a comfortable office thermostat setting, ask the pros at Powers Heating & Air.