I belong to the New England Chapter of National Speakers’ Association, and for twelve years of monthly meetings no one there has ever seen my legs. Why? Because the rooms we meet in are always too chilly to wear a skirt. I hide my legs, not out of modesty, to keep myself comfortable and focused.Just like Goldilocks and her porrage – we are happiest ( and most productive) when the temperature is “just right”.
As we head into some of the hottest and stickiest weather of the summer, the temperature and comfort of your home office impacts your productivity. Grasshopper has created an infographic that shows how working people respond to the summer months. In general productivity decreases and distractions increase.
One major distraction is the temperature of your work environment. The temperature range deemed the most comfortable and documented to be the most productive is 70-72°F. Above 73°, productivity decreases. At 86° and above, productivity falls 8.6%. Below 68° error rates increase 25%. Below 60° you are 2.5 times more likely to get a respiratory infection.
It is clear that humans (at least humans in the US) do not function at peak performance in workspaces at extremes of temperature. An office with the air conditioning set too cold is as unproductive as a too hot office.
How to be more comfortable in your home office:
- Set the air conditioner (AC) for a productive work range (70-72°).
- Use a fan to supplement your AC and to move the cooler air toward you. Moving air helps you feel cooler.
- Draw your blinds or close your curtains to keep out the sun’s radiant heat. Depending on your office orientation this could be a morning- or afternoon-only necessity.
- Dress appropriately. Layer your clothing and add or subtract a jacket, sweater or scarf as needed.
- Get to work earlier to take advantage of the cooler morning hours.
- If your business demands support this, keep Mediterranean business hours – take a 2-3 hour break mid-day and then work into the evening.
If you are reluctant to care for yourself in the heat, then think of your computer. Unlike people and pets, it can’t sweat, it can only crash.
How do you keep comfortable during extremes of hot and cold during the year? I would love to hear your ideas. Share them in the comments box below.
Learn more about home office set-up for improved comfort and productivity. Check out The Smarter Home Office – the book
Illustration by Grasshopper