Is There A Battle Over Temperature Raging In Your Office?

Fifteen percent of workers have argued with a coworker about office temperature, and 19 percent have secretly changed the temperature during the summer, according to a new CareerBuilder survey.

Office temperature is causing workers to turn on each other and is also having an impact on productivity. Nearly half of workers (46 percent) say their office is either too hot or too cold — 51 percent say sitting in an office that is too cold impacts their productivity, while 67 percent say sitting in an office that is too warm does the same, according to a new CareerBuilder survey.

office temperature
(Credit: BananaStock)

Fifteen percent of workers say they have argued with a coworker about office temperature (7 percent of men vs. 22 percent of women), and nearly 1 in 5 (19 percent) have secretly changed the office temperature during the summer—13 percent to make it cooler, 6 percent to make it warmer.

Drilled down by gender, survey findings indicate women and men may feel temperature differently in workplaces: 18 percent of men say they are too cold, 17 percent too hot; while 36 percent of women are too cold, 19 percent too hot.

Broken down by industry, retail has the hottest employees, and healthcare has the coldest.

Top Sectors With Workplaces That Are Too Hot

  1. Retail: 28 percent¹
  2. Manufacturing: 23 percent¹
  3. Health care: 19 percent

Top Sectors With Workplaces That Are Too Cold

  1. Health care: 30 percent
  2. Retail 24 percent¹
  3. Manufacturing: 18 percent¹

A Battle For Comfort

Instead of fighting for control over the thermostat, some workers are taking matters into their own hands. To stay at a comfortable temperature at work during the summer, workers say they:

  • Drink cool beverages: 42 percent
  • Dress in layers: 27 percent
  • Use a personal fan: 26 percent
  • Drink hot beverages: 20 percent
  • Wear a jacket all day: 19 percent
  • Use a space heater: 13 percent
  • Use a blanket: 6 percent

If the above methods aren’t working in your office, here are some additional tips for creating a working environment that is neither too hot nor too cold:

  • Agree to this degree: As much as it might feel easier to simply change the thermostat behind your co-workers’ backs, a more effective resolution might be to try talking to your co-workers about it and find a compromise.
  • Take breaks: It’s summer, so enjoy the sun and a little vitamin D. Even if your office temperature isn’t bothering you, a quick break is always a good idea to boost productivity.
  • Change up your environment: If a particular time of day or office space is too warm or too cold for productive work, talk to your manager about adjusting your work schedule, telecommuting or moving to a conference room for a portion of the day.

The national survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from April 4 to May 1, 2018, and included a representative sample of 1,012 full-time workers in the private sector across industries and company sizes.

¹Small base size (less than 100), use caution when interpreting


  1. this happens in my workplace every day since we moved to our new building… 4 years ago. Some people have their personal space heaters to keep warm while others decide to have an “office sweater” for the drastic changes in temperature.

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