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Study: Warmer Workers Work Better

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Study: Warmer Workers Work Better

Old 10-25-04, 04:31 PM
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Study: Warmer Workers Work Better

http://www.local6.com/money/3847460/...210252004&ts=H


Mistakes Decreased As Temperature Increased

POSTED: 11:37 am EDT October 25, 2004
UPDATED: 11:48 am EDT October 25, 2004

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Warm workers work better, according to an ergonomics study by Cornell University.

Chilly workers not only make more errors but cooler temperatures could increase a worker's hourly labor cost by 10 percent, estimated Alan Hedge, professor of design and environmental analysis and director of Cornell's Human Factors and Ergonomics Laboratory.

When the office temperature in a month-long study increased from 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit, typing errors fell by 44 percent and typing output jumped 150 percent.

Hedge's study explored the link between changes in the physical environment and work performance.

"The results of our study also suggest raising the temperature to a more comfortable thermal zone saves employers about $2 per worker, per hour," said Hedge.

In the study, each of nine workstations was equipped with a miniature personal environment-sensor for sampling air temperature every 15 minutes.

The researchers recorded the amount of time that employees keyboarded and the amount of time they spent making error corrections.

Hedge used a new research approach employing software that can synchronize a specific indoor environmental variable, in this case temperature, with productivity.

"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," said Hedge. "Temperature is certainly a key variable that can impact performance."

Hedge said he will continue to study the impact of indoor environment on worker productivity. "Our ultimate goal is to have much smarter buildings and better environmental control systems in the workplace that will maximize worker comfort and thereby productivity," said Hedge.


WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP


I'd much rather work in 68 degrees than 77 degrees. Rule of thumb, when it's cold you can ALWAYS get warmer (wear warm clothing, move around, blow on your hands), but if it hot, then you are trapped in that uncomfortableness.

I've been battling building management for about a year now, having to call in, sometimes a couple of times a day, to get them to fix the air conditioning so that it works properly. This morning when I got in, it was blowing in heat so it was in the upper 70's, so I called and a couple of hours later the cold comes on. Right now it is in the upper 60's, which is fine for me, but for most of the women that work in the cubes next to me, it is too cold.

Then we have the people in the offices in front of us. Half the offices are 80 degrees and the others are too cold. We just had the roofing pulled off the building and new air conditioning units put it. Well the air conditioning still does not work properly and the roof leaked big time during the last storm and it didn't even rain that much!

So to summarize WORKING IN A HOT OFFICE, SUCKS BIG TIME and I have a hard time breathing. Right now I put my light jacket on and I'm typing away and my hands are fine!

Chris

Last edited by mrpayroll; 10-25-04 at 04:33 PM.
Old 10-25-04, 04:33 PM
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Re: Study: Warmer Workers Work Better

mrpayroll

Right now I put my light jacket on and I'm typing away and my hands are fine!
And yet you're on a message board instead of working.

Q.E.D.

das
Old 10-25-04, 04:34 PM
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Re: Re: Study: Warmer Workers Work Better

Originally posted by das Monkey
And yet you're on a message board instead of working.

Q.E.D.

das

Shhhhhh don't tell!

Chris
Old 10-25-04, 04:43 PM
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By this logic, setting your workers on fire should really increase productivity.
Old 10-25-04, 04:44 PM
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Re: Re: Study: Warmer Workers Work Better

Originally posted by das Monkey
And yet you're on a message board instead of working.

Q.E.D.

das


birrman54
Old 10-25-04, 05:58 PM
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Re: Study: Warmer Workers Work Better

Originally posted by mrpayroll
...

I've been battling building management for about a year now, having to call in, sometimes a couple of times a day, to get them to fix the air conditioning so that it works properly. This morning when I got in, it was blowing in heat so it was in the upper 70's, so I called and a couple of hours later the cold comes on. Right now it is in the upper 60's, which is fine for me, but for most of the women that work in the cubes next to me, it is too cold.

Then we have the people in the offices in front of us. Half the offices are 80 degrees and the others are too cold. We just had the roofing pulled off the building and new air conditioning units put it. Well the air conditioning still does not work properly and the roof leaked big time during the last storm and it didn't even rain that much!

So to summarize WORKING IN A HOT OFFICE, SUCKS BIG TIME and I have a hard time breathing. Right now I put my light jacket on and I'm typing away and my hands are fine!

Chris
Geez, man, you sound like a woman going through menopause. The building staff is already referring to you as "that bitch" behind your back.
Old 10-25-04, 06:02 PM
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Re: Re: Study: Warmer Workers Work Better

Originally posted by Pistol Pete
Geez, man, you sound like a woman going through menopause. The building staff is already referring to you as "that bitch" behind your back.

HEY ! @%$)()(y(*%&^$

Who told you that?

Chris
Old 10-25-04, 06:15 PM
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Re: Re: Re: Study: Warmer Workers Work Better

Originally posted by mrpayroll
HEY ! @%$)()(y(*%&^$

Who told you that?

Chris
Ah, it's more kidding than anything else. Sorry if I upset you. Perhaps I should have embedded a smilie or something.

But see it from maintenence's point of view. All they want to do is kick back and smoke a bowl* to relax until quitting time. Now here's this guy who screws it up by calling in up to a couple times a day to adjust the temp. And they can never fix the situation. It's a major buzz kill.

Now we had a similar problem here with temperature variations over the weekend. The temp would rise as high a 90 degrees. But when maintenance was around during the weekdays, it was fine. So we set up a themocouple recording on a PC for a month. They couldn't argue with the data and had to finally throw some $$$ at the problem.


* I have never met a maintenance person who did not smoke. YMMV.
Old 10-25-04, 06:47 PM
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Chris


Old 10-25-04, 10:29 PM
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wow, one study, that's some serious proof

I can't stand the excessive a/c I have to endure down here- I would rather be warmer than colder but what's cold to me is apparently still too warm for quite a few people.

it can be tough to get warmer, especially if you have to type. I don't think that typing in gloves would be terribly productive.
Old 10-25-04, 10:41 PM
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And I've read studies that say people's minds work faster in cooler work environments.

At my job, it's a constant battle with the thermostat. Most days, it set at 72 but the women will sit there and complain they are "freezing" and will crank the heat up to 78. I tell them they can always put something on but they certainly don't want to see me taking anything off!

Seriously, I do find my mood improves quite a bit when it's cooler. And by cooler, I mean around 72. I think the above study is asinine because 68 is pretty cool, for any office. (I would prefer it, but I think that it's better to keep it a tad higher. While I think the female employees are selfish for turning the heat to 78, I would just as equally be selfish if I turned it down to 68.) I feel 72 is room temperature, and if people don't like it, bring a sweater.

If you kept it at 77 where I work, you'd certainly see a decrease in productivity from me.
Old 10-25-04, 10:42 PM
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Re: Study: Warmer Workers Work Better

Originally posted by mrpayroll

I'd much rather work in 68 degrees than 77 degrees. Rule of thumb, when it's cold you can ALWAYS get warmer (wear warm clothing, move around, blow on your hands), but if it hot, then you are trapped in that uncomfortableness.



(actually, 68-70 degrees is perfect for me)
Old 10-25-04, 11:07 PM
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Originally posted by calhoun07
At my job, it's a constant battle with the thermostat. Most days, it set at 72 but the women will sit there and complain they are "freezing" and will crank the heat up to 78. I tell them they can always put something on but they certainly don't want to see me taking anything off!
I have the same problem at my company. It's always one or two women whining about how "cold" it is (if you call 74 degrees cold), so the supervisor shuts off the A/C. The problem is, since the room is full of computers, it warms up the room considerably. Added to that, all those people working and exhaling carbon dioxide into the air, so the room becomes uncomfortably warm and the air stale and stuffy (our building windows don't open up). It doesn't take too long before the room reaches an "ideal" 79 degrees, and in summer, to boot! I get too tired to focus anymore, and my productivity goes way down. At some point the supervisor comes back in to turn on the A/C, only to later turn it off again for the same reason why he did so in the first place.
Old 10-25-04, 11:16 PM
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77?!? First off, I'd be naked from the heat, and that would drive away all the workers, and nothing would get done!
Old 10-25-04, 11:23 PM
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i think my work prescribes to that belief:



btw, it was ~65F outside when that pic was taken.
Old 10-25-04, 11:32 PM
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i have to agree with the study. when it is cold, i get bitchy and all i want to do is curl up and stay warm--i dont want to move, work, or even think. now, i know that i am more sensitive to the cold so i tend to ALWAYS wear pants and sweaters and dress as warm as possible in order to compromise. however, i cant throw on any more clothes (i have actually worn long underwear into the operating rooms because they stay 60-65 degrees) most of the time. i think it is completely ridiculous to put anythign below 70. personally, i am comfortable with 85 degrees--in fact, that is what my thermostat stays on at home when i dont have guests. i am willing to compromise to 70 but nothing more. for me, cold air is more than just uncomfortable--it makes my joints physically ache, difficult to move, and my nose constantly pours. I shover uncontrollably. i know, im pathetic. i think a happy medium should be achieved--guys should be allowed to wear less clothing (long sleeve dress shirts, pants, and a tie will make any man hot) but put up with some heat. women should dress warmly and use a blanket if they are under a desk.
Old 10-26-04, 12:08 AM
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But you see for me, it's not that I'm uncomfortable with my clothes in the heat. I have a hard time breathing when it is hot and it makes me very sleeeeeepy........

Chris
Old 10-26-04, 12:14 AM
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Originally posted by mrpayroll
But you see for me, it's not that I'm uncomfortable with my clothes in the heat. I have a hard time breathing when it is hot and it makes me very sleeeeeepy........

Chris
yeah, no kidding. the heat makes me very sleepy.
Old 10-26-04, 01:10 AM
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Originally posted by krkuhl
i have to agree with the study. when it is cold, i get bitchy and all i want to do is curl up and stay warm--i dont want to move, work, or even think. now, i know that i am more sensitive to the cold so i tend to ALWAYS wear pants and sweaters and dress as warm as possible in order to compromise. however, i cant throw on any more clothes (i have actually worn long underwear into the operating rooms because they stay 60-65 degrees) most of the time. i think it is completely ridiculous to put anythign below 70. personally, i am comfortable with 85 degrees--in fact, that is what my thermostat stays on at home when i dont have guests. i am willing to compromise to 70 but nothing more. for me, cold air is more than just uncomfortable--it makes my joints physically ache, difficult to move, and my nose constantly pours. I shover uncontrollably. i know, im pathetic. i think a happy medium should be achieved--guys should be allowed to wear less clothing (long sleeve dress shirts, pants, and a tie will make any man hot) but put up with some heat. women should dress warmly and use a blanket if they are under a desk.
Or allow for personal space heaters.
Old 10-26-04, 01:19 AM
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I call bullshit. If it were that hot in my office, my productivity would definitely be for the worse. I'd prefer it to be about 60, myself. And don't get me started on flourescent lights.

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