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Office temperatures can be a source of worker conflict: study

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Office thermostat NSC
Photo: Jennifer Yario

Chicago — Workers can get quite heated when it comes to office temperatures.

In a recent Harris Poll survey of 1,012 full-time U.S. adult employees, conducted between April 4 and May 1, 46 percent of respondents said their office is either too hot or too cold. And when workers disagree on office temperatures, conflict can arise: 15 percent of respondents reported having had arguments over the matter, while 19 percent said they secretly have changed the thermostat during summer months.

Among gender, survey results varied: 36 percent of women said they were too cold, and 19 percent were too hot; 18 percent of men said they were too cold, and 17 percent were too hot.

Other findings:

  • Job sectors with the most complaints about high temperatures were retail (28 percent), manufacturing (23 percent) and health care (19 percent).
  • Job sectors with the most complaints about low temperatures were health care (30 percent), retail (24 percent) and manufacturing (18 percent).

A press release from job search website CareerBuilder, which commissioned the survey, includes tips office worker can use to help keep their cool in extreme office temperatures:

  • Use a fan in your workspace.
  • Take breaks.
  • Change your environment. If the office temperature is uncomfortable, talk to your manager about adjusting your work schedule, telecommuting or moving to a conference room for a portion of the day.

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