Tags: | Categories: Productivity tips and tricks Posted by ProductivityScience on 8/13/2008 10:47 PM | Comments (4)

Productivity vs. temperature It is summer now.  Outdoor temperature raises to unseen peaks and only air conditioner can help you to stay smooth. No doubt that temperature influences your productivity. But how? And what temperature is best for office productivity to setup your air conditioner? Let's find out.

In majority of cases existing standards for the temperature of the work environment allows wide temperature range from 65° F (18° C) to 88° F (31° C) depending on working conditions. But this range is quite lengthy and most people feel uncomfortable working outside relatively short 'comfort zone'.

Scientific studies confirm that indoor temperature can significantly impact on productivity and most performing 'comfort zone' lays between 72° F (22° C) and (77° F) 25° C. The graph below based on research by Helsinki University of Technology 'Effect of Temperature on Task Performance in Office Environment' shows how relative productivity changes with the temperature.

 Productivity vs. temperature graph

As you can see, the productivity changes significantly and highest performance achieved in relatively short peak between 70° F (21° C) and   73° (23° C). Outside 63° F (17° C) and 82° F (28° C) temperature range the productivity decreases more than 5% and significantly impacts on workers ability to work and even can influence health.

Though most scientific researches return close results, on the other hand there are some differences. Scientific studies on the subject performed by Cornell University concludes that most convenient temperature for best office performance is at 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius). When the office temperature is outside this mark the productivity decreases (research was attended mostly to temperature decreases).

"At 77 degrees Fahrenheit, the workers were keyboarding 100 percent of the time with a 10 percent error rate, but at 68 degrees, their keying rate went down to 54 percent of the time with a 25 percent error rate."

It is important to add that most comfortable temperature for best performance can be determined only on personal level and it depends on physiological characteristics of a human. For example, plump people prefer a little lower temperature than thin people.

Thus while using air conditioner remember, that it is important not even to overheat yourself but also not overcool too. Productivity Science recommends to setup range between 71° F (22° C) and 77° F (25° C) on you air conditioner remote control and maybe it is good to try different temperatures in this range to find most appropriate for your performance.


Aprilaire United States on 10/21/2008 8:58 AM Opss nice graph about the temperature and productivity... thanks
Mumbai colleges
Mumbai colleges United States on 1/21/2009 11:51 PM

Your site came up when I searched for help. This was actually what I was looking for, and I am glad that I finally came here! Thks for sharing and keep up the good work
Breitling Watches
Breitling Watches United States on 2/12/2009 1:37 AM Opss nice graph about the temperature and productivity... thanks
Office Worker
Office Worker United States on 7/3/2009 12:19 AM This is a great site. Very helpful. I will be printing the graph as a material to back my request for a better temperature in the office.