According to a new study, the temperature when we're working could have a big impact on how productive women in particular are
Researchers recently surveyed 543 students, giving them work including math problems, letter scrambles and logic questions to answer.
The set of students were split, with some going into warmer rooms, and some going in to cooler rooms, with the temperature varying between 16 and 32 degrees celsius.
To mimic a workplace scenario, they were given ‘cash rewards’, for every time they got an answer right.
And while no difference was seen in how well the logic problems were solved, it was found that on average the female students performed better in the maths and letter tests when the room was warmer.
In fact, increasing the temperature by just 1% saw an amazing 2% boost in the scores the women achieved in the maths tests.
The researchers of the study explained that the results suggest comfort has a big impact on how productive women in particular are.
They said, “Overall, our results suggest that gender is an important factor not only in determining the impact of temperature on comfort but also on productivity and cognitive performance,
“Additionally, given the lack of attention to gender in mediating the impact of temperature on performance, our results may explain in part the inconsistent results of previous studies on the relationship between temperature and cognitive performance.”
So if you find yourself struggling to get things done in a cold, chilly office, it could be down to this.
But why are women at a disadvantage? Apparently, many office buildings around the country set their thermostat to temperature which is based on a 40-year-old, 155 pound man, because of a decades old forumla which based it on his metabolic rate.
Overall, it seems that women are simply more sensitive to temperature fluctuations than men, and find it more difficult to concentrate if they’re feeling cold. Something we’re sure many of you readers can relate to…
So while we likely can’t change the temperature of where we work ourselves, it may help to keep it in mind if you’re struggling to check off items from your to-do list…