A surprising new discovery says that a one-degree or two-degree change in temperature at the office can have a huge impact on a woman’s productivity.
If this seems far fetched, consider how regularly you will see a woman with an additional cardigan over her shoulders. Some even have space heaters under their desks.
The reason you don’t see this at home is that they cannot really control the temperatures in their offices.
According to this study, if the woman could get the right temperature, her cognitive capabilities would also experience a boost.
Apparently, women perform better in math and verbal tasks when it’s cold. The opposite is true for men who perform worse as temperatures rise. The findings were published in PLOS One.
The study involved 550 college students from Germany, who were given cognitive tests such as adding double-digit numbers and solving word problems. The temperatures varied from 61 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
As the temperatures were increased, the women performed better. But for the men, the performance got worse.
Consequently, according to one of the experts in the study, these findings are not worth ignoring since workplace temperatures can vary by more than a single degree.
Despite these findings, it is worth noting that men and women have practically the same core body temperature, although some studies claim that women have a higher core body temperature.
However, the way we perceive temperature depends on skin temperature, not the core temperature. And due to their hormonal makeup, women have a lower skin temperature.
The issue of women’s performance in the workplace and temperature has even become a political concern, with Cynthia Nixon calling the male-oriented temperature setting in the workplace “notoriously sexist.”
Low temperatures affect women to a notable expert as far as their performance in some mental tasks goes, but as the temperatures increase, the gender gap is completely eliminated.
This study is obviously less than likely to change much in the workplace. However, it does reveal much about how temperature variations can affect workplace performance.
More importantly, what this study proves is that temperature does not just affect the level of comfort people feel in the workplace or anywhere else, it also has an impact on performance.
This is something that ought to be taken a little more seriously. The compounded impact of reduced performance due to temperature variations could have a serious overall impact on workplace productivity.
The problem is particularly pronounced for women, who suffer more under the effects of cold temperatures in comparison to their male colleagues.