The Surprising Link Between Temperature and Productivity

September 23 2014

James Patten


Achieving the right temperature in your workplace is often difficult to attain due to the complication of finding the right balance between hot and cold. We’re typically all too aware of the impact warm temperatures can have on our productivity, for example excessively warm temperatures can leave us feeling tired and sluggish. However, it’s important to recognise that cool temperatures can also have a significant impact on our performance. Here we take a quick look at the somewhat surprising connection between cooler temperatures and productivity.

Interestingly, there’s a growing body of research investigating the relationship between temperature and productivity. For example, one study conducted by researchers at Cornell University found that cooler temperatures resulted in workers making more typing errors. The researchers concluded that ‘chilly workers not only make more errors but cooler temperatures could increase a workers hourly labour cost by up 10 percent.’ The researchers hypothesised that part of the reason for this drop in productivity is that we are more distracted at lower temperatures. This is because, at cold temperatures, we have to expend a greater amount of energy to keep ourselves warm, leaving less energy resources available for other important tasks influencing productivity such as concentration.

A further study of over 400 employees working in 16 workplaces in the UK, conducted by Northumbria University, also came to a similar conclusion. Indeed, the study found that cold office temperatures are a key causal factor contributing to reduced productivity

In light of such research, and with winter approaching, it can be important to start thinking about establishing a comfortable temperature in your work environment. The Health and Safety Executive recommend a minimum temperature of at least 16 °C.

Here at Heritage Heating we have a great selection of commercial and industrial warm air heating solutions, so you can help ensure great productivity in your business this winter. For more information about our range of products and services please don’t hesitate to contact us and one of our friendly team will be happy to help you with your enquiries.



Share this article