All you women out there in the office know what it is to feel too cold at work, what with all that air-conditioning like it's Siberia. Meanwhile, the men around you seem perfectly at ease with their normal work clothes while you are all bundled up, sipping your fourth cup of tea in your cubicle. You feel like you can't think, let alone work in such a temperature and now, the latest study has proved that it's not all in your head, women really do work better in warmer offices.
Men perform better in colder temperatures
Researchers at the University of Southern California and the WZB Berlin Social Science Center revealed that women's verbal and math scores improved as office temperatures rose. This is what is being called "The Thermostat Patriarchy" where men performed better in colder temperatures and as a result, offices cater to their professional well-being than women's. It's not just about comfort, but about productivity and hence offices should cater to the needs of all their employees, not just the male ones. Researcher Tom Chang said, "Everybody is latching on to the battle of the sexes, but I don’t think that’s the right lesson to take away from our work. I think the two lessons are first, that these environmental factors matter more than people think they do when it comes to productivity. The other is one size doesn’t fit all. ... If half of the people in your office are sneaking space heaters under their desk or talking about how it’s hot all the time, you should take that more seriously."
Though comfortable, can one work while bundled up?
Here's where the maths gender gap comes into play, in colder temperatures women performed worse than men, however as the temperature increases women perform better till a point where the gender gap disappears. Office temperatures also go beyond comfort, one might be comfortable with wearing two sweaters and wrapping up themselves in a blanket, but can they work with it? Hence, in workplaces where men and women work alongside each other, air-conditioning temperatures must be adjusted so that everyone can function better.
Image credit: USC News