salary transparency, office temperature wars, and asking for more vacation time

I was on Marketplace Morning report last week talking about salary transparency — why we should talk more openly about what we earn and why employers should be more transparent. It’s about five minutes long and you can listen here:

Also! Office temperature wars come up a lot here — some people want their office to be warmer, some want it colder, and no one can agree. A new USC study has found that there are gender differences in how well people perform at different temperatures: They found women perform better at temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees, and men perform better when it’s below 70. And interestingly, women were more negatively impacted by colder temperatures than men were by warmer ones. (It’s worth noting, though, that the study participants were students — and I suspect temperature preferences change as we age.) Anyway, I’m quoted in this LA Times piece about the study, and offering advice on how managers can try to accommodate a range of temperature preferences.

And last, perhaps you are thinking you’d like more vacation time! Here’s a piece I wrote for NY Magazine about how to negotiate more vacation time on top of what you already have.

{ 316 comments… read them below }

  1. Anonymous Educator*

    They found women perform better at temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees, and men perform better when it’s below 70. And interestingly, women were more negatively impacted by colder temperatures than men were by warmer ones.

    So if everyone keeps offices at 70 degrees Fahrenheit, then all of their workers should perform optimally (at least as far as temperature is a factor)?

    1. fposte*

      Alas, no. From the USC announcement of the study: “As temperatures increased, so did women’s performance on tasks.” (It suggests 75 degrees is actually the “Goldilocks spot.”)

      1. Kaaaaaren*

        God, having to spend all day every day in a space that is 75-80 degrees would drive me to quit. (And I am a woman.)

        1. chocolate lover*

          75-80 degrees would have me totally lethargic and too uncomfortable to work. And I’m also a woman.

              1. Grand Admiral Thrawn Is Still Blue*

                69 degrees here. I’m lucky – only person in the office most of the time, I get to choose.

                1. HRJ*

                  I’m a woman, and I agree. I’d be searching for a new job. 75 is way too hot. At my last office, I have no idea what the temp was set at, but I would open my window and consistently wear short sleeved and sleeveless tops. My house is kept around 68-71. And my husband is always the one turning it up to the top of that range.

                  And I completely agree with Alison’s current advice. You can put on more clothes to warm up. There is a limit to how many clothes you can take off to keep cool.

              2. The Ginger Ginger*

                Agreeeee! I always say I’m a penguin – the arctic kind. I get so uncomfortable when I’m even a little warm. I am truly dreading the hot flashes of menopause with every fiber of my soul.

                1. Jennifer Juniper*

                  I have to have the AC on at night when I sleep, because I hate being sweaty and start thinking I’m dirty and smell bad and must get out of bed RIGHT NOW to bathe, even though it’s 3 AM.

          1. I Don’t Remember What Name I Used Before*

            I’m currently in a house that is 73 degrees and I am FREEZING. I had to wrap up in a blanket to stop the goosebumps.

            Of course, now that I’m peri menopausal, I ALSO overheat incredibly easy (especially if it’s humid) so I’m currently pretty screwed as far as comfortable temperatures go.

            1. TardyTardis*

              Oh, I hear you–it’s not as bad now, but for a long time if I didn’t like the temperature, I’d just wait five minutes.

        2. Bortus*

          this. I’m super hot natured and now that I am, ahem, older, I like a nice 65068 degrees please. (and yes I’m female)

        3. Michael Valentine*

          Agreed. Not all ladies want it warmer. This gal enjoys 68 degrees year round. If I turn it up to 69, I start to perspire slightly and get uncomfortable. If it goes to 67, I’m too cold. Thankfully, I WFH so I get 100% control. It also helps that my husband would prefer arctic conditions as he will sweat through a shirt if it’s over 70 degrees!

        4. Asenath*

          Me, too. And I’m a woman. I’ve almost always found public spaces to be maintained at too high a temperature for my comfort.

          1. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

            I am a woman who regularly carries a jacket or hoodie in the summertime so that I can put it on whenever I go into any public buildings, because 90% of the time, I’ve got goosebumps within ten seconds of walking in the door. :)

            1. Lx in Canada*

              Hah! Same. I generally wear jeans and a hoodie at work because otherwise I’m too cold, even in the summer!

          2. RUKiddingMe*

            A couple years ago when I was in California, Husband and I were walking in downtown San Jose. That’s home for me. I’m a Cali girl. I was dying.

            Suddenly I remembered reason #1275 that I left the Bay Area…a lifetime of *always* searching for shade/cool/AC.

            Part of it’s acclimation. Husband is from Casablanca. The last time he was there without me I had so many phone calls with him lamenting the heat in “this place” and talking about coming “home” where the weather suits him. When we first met, in Casablanca…the heat didn’t even register to him. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        5. Ask a Manager* Post author

          Yep. I actually wonder if age is a factor here; the study was of college students. I feel like I used to prefer it colder than I do now.

          1. Little Tin Goddess*

            Absolutely age is a factor, especially when we women start menopause. I hate anything above say 75 because Im usually warm from hot flashes. And I really hate when it’s humid in the building as well. I try to keep the temp in house (I work remotely most of the time) around 68/69.

          2. KayEss*

            Yes, and not even the obvious menopause example… I got cold easily until my late twenties, and then BAM! I can TELL when my husband has bumped the thermostat from 69 to 70 because I start sweating, and I’m still decades from menopause. It’s pretty common for all genders to have weird things happen to your body around 30.

          3. fposte*

            Though it looks like preference wasn’t a component of the study, so it may also be that the temperature we’re most comfortable at isn’t necessarily the temperature we’re most productive at.

            1. Zombeyonce*

              Maybe, but anecdotally, if I feel the slightest bit hot (75+), I can’t think about anything but how to cool off. I get zero work done then.

          4. DataGirl*

            I think age must factor in. Once menopause and hot flashes hit many women prefer colder temps; at least in my office experiences.

          5. BerkeleyFarm*

            Thermostat wars are serious business! My smallish office has needed to be “rewired” with different controllers as the previous placement didn’t help out a group that was in a added-on-later part of the building.

            I have the ultimate thermostat war story. One fine day we came in and the main control on my floor (near me) had been physically taken apart (like, with a plier and screwdriver and wires snipped). I did not immediately twig as to the likely suspect (it would have been a terminating offense) but someone didn’t like things the way their neighbors did. It cost a lot of money to get this fixed as we learned that people had covered up the vents as well.

            I have “the office sweater/hoodie”. I work in systems so I’m mostly happy if my systems are nice and frosty and I can work well within “generally considered acceptable” office temp (68-74 F).

          6. RUKiddingMe*

            Maybe yeah. Some of it, for women anyway, might be a “change of life” thing too.

            Personally that was a cakewalk for me. Zero of the typical crap that goes along with it, but for lots of women 40+ it can be a Thing.

            I’ve always liked it cooler though, so I’m probably not a good data point.

          7. ceiswyn*

            I definitely used to prefer it much colder than I do now, but in my case there’s also the confounding factor that I weigh less than half what I used to. Life is very different without that level of insulation.

          8. Pescadero*

            I’m male… and I actually prefer it warmer now.

            That being said – my tolerance of both cold AND heat has reduced the older I have gotten.

          9. Mia_Mia*

            Yes, it is. The study states that age and education level are limitations, and a this study of students is not generalizable to an entire population.

        6. Mazzy*

          I don’t care what the temp is as long as air is circulating. Stale, sitting air and smelling what someone ate two days ago is torture to me, compared with any temp in this range!

          1. Goya de la Mancha*

            Me too. I definitely prefer to have cooler temps, but if the air is muggy and stale, I’m going to rage. Granted I have a small desk fan that I can use when working at my desk, but that doesn’t help if I have to be elsewhere in the building or in meetings.

          2. DataGirl*

            Air circulating, yes. Air conditioning blowing on you with the force of a gale wind- agh no.

        7. RandomU...*

          I just sat down from turning on the work A/C as the temp had creeped to 76. Nope… I concede to all my freezebaby coworkers and set it at between 73 and 74.

          1. RandomU...*

            I should mention my heat at home doesn’t get above 60. So I find the 73-74 on the warm side, but don’t want to hear complaining from the cold people.

          2. Aussie*

            I just did the conversion to Celsius, and 73F is around 22C.. which is way too cold for me! I can’t believe the people on here advocating for 20 degrees or cooler! Maybe its just because we’re generally warmer in Australia, but every office I’ve been in has sat around 24 degrees (which is 75F) and I still get too cold!

            1. Blue Horizon*

              I lived in the tropics for a few years and I think that your metabolism adjusts after a while. Once my body learned that it never had to do any work to keep me warm, it adapted fairly quickly to the task of keeping me cool and the high temperatures bothered me a lot less.

              I paid the price when I moved back to a temperate climate. “Hey, this cold air is great for shedding heat! …what do you mean, you need me to store heat? Nuh uh. I’ve just got this circulatory system optimally wired for heat dissipation, and I’m not changing it now.”

            2. londonedit*

              Oh my goodness, I’d fall asleep if I had to work in 24C. I’ve always had the idea that ‘room temperature’ is around 20C – anything up to about 22 would be OK with me, but above that and I’d be sweating. I think I’m naturally quite a warm person – if I go for a run with friends in February I’ll be wearing shorts and a t-shirt, because I know I’ll be boiling once we get a mile or so into the run, and half of them will be bundled up in leggings and three layers and a hat. I can’t really deal with temperatures above about 25C (good job I’m British, though last summer was hell for me…three months of near-constant 30C+ temperatures…)

            3. Miss Pantalones en Fuego*

              OMG, I usually keep my house at 18 (unless it’s really cold out, then I might crank it to 20). I’d pass out if it was 24 in here!

              Though maybe it’s humidity related. We used to say in New Mexico that it was a dry heat, meaning that your sweat actually evaporated and cooled you off. I didn’t mind being hot so much when I lived there. The UK is a different kettle of fish altogether.

        8. SheLooksFamiliar*

          I wonder if the researchers spoke to post- and/or menopausal women. When I was having hot flashes so bad I gave off visible heat waves, I would have killed for a 60 degree office. I would have been happier if the office was colder than that…even now, anything close to 70 degrees makes me sweat.

        9. Curiouser and Curiouser*

          I would quit. I wouldn’t be able to do it… (Early 30s woman for what it’s worth)

        10. AngryAngryAlice*

          Hard agree (also a woman). I think maybe 72-73 would be my sweet spot. Any hotter and I’d be too focused on the heat to work.

        11. Polaris*

          THIS. My optimal temperature is 68-70. Any warmer and I’ll be completely lethargic.

        12. L.S. Cooper*

          Anything above 72 is too hot for me, and pretty much always has been. My completely unscientific anecdotal experience is that, in addition to changes as menopause sets in, those of us with more fat tend to run hotter than our skinnier counterparts. I would be dying in an office that hot!

          1. ceiswyn*

            At the company I currently work for, I spent the winter wearing thermal tights, a thermal vest, thick wool dresses, fingerless gloves, a shawl/cardigan and chain-drinking hot tea – and I was still cold.

            Tell me again how easy it is to just ‘put on a sweater’. Especially while still adhering to the dress code.

        13. WinnaPig*

          Anything above 70 and I need a fan running in my space. I keep my house at about 65 all winter. I also hate air conditioning. I saw this report and was frustrated at the “all women like this” approach – taking a diverse community and labelling it with one big generalization.

        14. Not A Morning Person*

          Not for me. I am an “older” woman and I am still cold in almost every situation and have been for a very long time. I still get goose bumps when there is a cool breeze on a 90+ degree day. I have a space heater to counteract the cold breeze from the air conditioning in my office. Even menopause didn’t help except for the rare occasion when I didn’t need to wear sweats at home in the summer to counteract the air conditioning. I am miserably cold at work most of the time. I would love to have control over the temp in my own office. The cold is so distracting sometimes that I have to get up and go to run hot water on my hands. And no, I’m not ill. It’s just my cross to bear.

        15. Clisby*

          I’m a woman and I’d be freezing at 70 degreees. I live in SC, and routinely keep my house at 80-82 degrees during the day during summer and maybe drop to 78 at night. That’s plenty cool for me. (Of course, I’m retired and at home, not in a business formal environment where I’d have to wear a suit or something similar. In that case, I could see maybe setting it to 75.)

        16. RUKiddingMe*

          Likewise. I find 63 to be juuusssttt about perfect.

          Inside at least. I’m standing on my shaded patio surrounded by trees right this minute. It’s 76 according to my phone. It’s a glorious spring day.

          Inside at 76…just kill me.

          1. Jennifer Juniper*

            I think that the outside air has a breeze and inside air is still, which makes it feel hotter.

        17. MCMonkeyBean*

          Yes, the first time I ever honestly considered leaving my job was the winter that they heated the office to 82 degrees every day. It was unbearable. I got pretty much nothing done because I was too busy emailing facilities lol.

          1. Clisby*

            Oh, 82 in the winter would be unbearable. It should be more like 68-70 in the winter. In the summer, it should be considerably higher. Maybe not 82, but 75-78.

        18. Workallday*

          75-80 would be heaven to me and I’m menopausal and have at least 5 hot flashes during the work day. It’s so cold in my office I have to run my space heater all year.

        19. Flor*

          My office can get to about that in the winter (we’re south-facing and the building HVAC is old). I literally end up sitting at my desk in a t-shirt with my fan on when it’s -40C outside. This is Canada. I’d like to be able to wear something more robust than a t-shirt under my coat in the winter. I tend to default to cardigans, as I wear my hair up most of the time, which are okay until it’s so cold that I really would like to have 360 degrees of fabric round my midsection.

          Summer’s a bit better, but that might just be perception because instead of being mid-20s when it’s below -20C out it’s just mid-20s when it’s mid-20s to low-30s out. I still use my fan.

          1. Flor*

            I’m a cis woman of average size, btw, so I don’t have extra muscle mass or anything insulating me.

        20. casinoLF*

          My office thermostat stays at 69 and I will cut you if you turn it up. I am already roasting.

          Also a woman.

        1. Kittymommy*

          76-78 is perfect for me. We don’t have control of the repairs on my office so I’m generally freezing at all times so I end up using a space heater. In Florida. In May.

          1. Duck Duck Goose*

            I also live in FL and I keep my house at a nice 78. The office is at 72 and I’m freezing every single day.

          2. Fiberpunk*

            76-78 al the time would kill me. I think as a Floridian you might be more accustomed to warm than I am, living in the frozen north.

            1. Gyratory Circus*

              It’s totally what you’re used to. I’m a native Floridian and I keep the a/c in my house set to 78 or 79, maaaaaaaybe 77 at night if my husband turns it down. But the houses down here are built to keep cool, lots of tile floors etc.

        1. Arts Akimbo*

          Ugh, I *wish* the temperature thing would kick in for me!! I’m menopausal age, but I still find 76-78 degrees to be optimal for me, and my poor spouse absolutely melts when it’s over 72.

          1. ThursdaysGeek*

            Right. Most of the time I get one of these so-called ‘hot flashes’ I realize “oh, I’m not freezing right now, how nice.” And sometimes I can tell that I’m still cold, but cold is ok.

            It’s finally summer here, so I need to dress so I don’t melt when I go outside. And that’s why I’m wearing a sweater at work, I have my fuzzy socks close by, and a blanket just in case. And hot tea for a warm-me-up. At work, it’s probably better than I put on clothes than my male co-workers take them off.

            Speaking of which, if men were allowed to wear capris and sandals as normal business wear, it’s quite possible they’d be happier with higher office temperatures. As it is, they probably just melt more when going to their cars. I wonder if the studies took into account the clothing differences between the genders.

            1. MusicWithRocksInIt*

              Actually – it did by accident. They used collage students for the studies, who wear more casual clothes overall, jeans and sweaters all around – so everyone was wearing similar clothes for the studies.

            2. mcr-red*

              Our office is supposedly set at 74 – it’s not, my house is set at 75 and I’ve threatened everyone with bodily harm if they mess with it – and it’s freezing in here, all of the men wear long sleeve shirts year round. I dress like the temperature outside so I’m not melting in the car, and then come to work and put on my hoodie, blanket, gloves, etc. Before they “fixed” the temperature, it was always 80 degrees in here with a humidity of an armpit.

              We cannot have nice things.

            3. Turquoisecow*

              That’s always been my thought. Women’s office appropriate clothing is often short sleeves and skirts, while men must wear pants year round and often long sleeves and even jackets as well. Of course they turn down the temperature!

            4. Another worker bee*

              Yeah, and the men like to use that argument about their clothing to justify the freezing temps, but it’s like….men made this rule/norm about clothing, men can change this rule. It’s better for the environment to not be turning offices into the arctic when half of the office hates it anyway.

          2. ThatGirl*

            My MIL is 60 and likes the temp around 75-77, even at night, which is way too hot for me to sleep comfortably. My ideal for sleeping is around 65, low 70s during the day. So we have temperature wars every time we stay with her :P

            1. Zombeyonce*

              I’ve read that the ideal sleeping temperature for the majority of people is 68-72, so that tracks.

          3. RUKiddingMe*

            It might not. Menopause is way in the rear view mirror for me. I’m still waiting…9 years on.

      2. Aphrodite*

        Dear god, no. I’m a woman who turns the air conditioning on at home once it reaches 76 degrees. No way could I work at 75. If a compromise must be made put it at 70 but lower, 68 or ideally 60-64, for me.

      3. Glitsy Gus*

        Who are these women? Do they want to wear tank tops to work?? Our office a/c is broken and we’re hovering at around 75 degrees indoors and I want to die. I have sweat rolling down my back all day and I am also a woman.

        1. CheeryO*

          My office is set to 72 year-round, and I wear a heavy cardigan or fleece and use a heated mouse year-round. I don’t understand how someone can be warm just sitting around. It would have to be 95 degrees for me to be passively sweating.

        2. MatKnifeNinja*

          I don’t break out a true winter coat until it hits 20 F.

          My perfect temp is 50 ish to 70 F. I never get it because my housemates are reptiles and jack the thermostat to 78.

        3. wittyrepartee*

          I’m one of these women. 75 is tolerable for me, and I prefer it to be around 80 with low humidity and circulating air. Winter is hell.

    2. Dankar*

      75 is what I keep my thermostat on at home. They keep the office anywhere between 67-73 where I work, and that means I sometimes have my foot heater on in the dead of summer.

    3. Jaid*


      No. 65-68 is MY sweet spot.

      HOWEVER, what I’ve been reading about menopause is that estrogen decreases/testosterone increases (or otherwise becomes more noticeable), and thus a lady could indeed be feeling quite manly…especially when it comes to temperature sensation. So age and other biological factors need to be taken into account.

      (I think one of the ladies here was discussing how her son would wear shorts in the winter because teenage boys are like furnaces at that age…

    4. An Amazing Detective-Slash-Genius*

      As a mid-20s woman currently struggling to type because it’s SO COLD IN HERE, 75 sounds like a dream. Damn you male-dominated office…

      1. Kotow*

        I’d love 75 degrees! Alas, everyone else wants it to be below 70…so…I’m literally sitting in a scarf and two wraps at my desk. Because it’s okay for me to be uncomfortable and unable to concentrate but nobody else of course.

    5. Rebecca*

      I’m starting to think most of my office mates are lizard people from another planet, disguised as humans. It’s usually so ungodly hot in here! Allegedly, the air is on, it’s 72 in my office, I have my fan on, but there are people nearby with sweaters or sweatshirts on, complaining they’re chilly. Their air vents are closed, and some of them have small heaters under their desks they use year around. In the winter time here, I wear short sleeves or 3/4 sleeves max, light weight shirts, and wear an extra fleece layer with my coat for going outside. It’s usually pushing 80 in here during the winter. It’s a miracle I can stay awake long enough to work, and there are days I’m so warm I’m actually nauseous.

      1. Silver Fig*

        Lizard person checking in! Your office sounds like a dream. I’m currently wearing wool socks, plus a sweater over my buttondown shirt to keep from shivering at my desk. So many people in our advertising department used space heaters that they blew out power to the entire wing, and STILL the company won’t turn up the thermostat to a reasonable temperature.

        1. Rebecca*

          And I am extremely lucky this is a non customer facing office, with a very lax dress code, because I wear shorts and sleeveless cotton shirts, plus a fan and ice water for at least 4+ months of the year just to cope.

    6. Moray*

      Right now the woman who sits in the cube across from me is in a black sweatshirt with the hood pulled up. She’s just cold, but everyone is afraid to talk to her because she looks so pissed and closed-off.

      1. Kotow*

        She’s probably pissed because she has to wear multiple layers in her office when it’s getting to the point where outside temperatures are pushing 80 degrees! So you either dress appropriately for the outside or appropriately for the ridiculously cold temperatures inside; which means massive amounts of clothing you have to bring.

    7. MOAS*

      Dear god no that sounds like a nightmare. 60s is my sweet spot. I can always put on a light cardigan but I can’t strip off clothes.

      1. Budgie Buddy*

        Light cardigan? That’s like bringing a spork to a gun fight. Those who fight in the office Cold War pack fleece. And hand warmers if they need to type.

        1. MarfisaTheLibrarian*

          I have The Blanket. It’s one of those massive knit “shawls” that have to be folded double to be shawl size, and I huddle under it at work. We also have the space heaters running.

        2. ceiswyn*

          I have Raynaud’s – if I get cold, I lose circulation in my fingers.

          No matter how many layers I wore in the office this winter, I kept spending the afternoon only able to feel half of my digits. It took me an age to find office-appropriate fingerless gloves.

          It is currently a wet, cold June, and I really wish I hadn’t taken them home again.

    8. MsChanandlerBong*

      I’m a woman, and I would die if the temperature was between 70 and 80 degrees. I keep my home thermostat at 65 during the day and 60 at night.

    9. MK*

      No. Frankly, these studies are worse than useless; after all, what would a solution be, gender-segregated workplaces?

      Also, I wonder if anyone bothers to take into account that not all people in any given workplace do the same work. I could spend my entire workday sitting in a chair, while other people working here have to move from office to office and carry heavy files several times a day. I think that would affect our “optimal-productivity temperature” much more than gender.

  2. Non profit pro*

    I wonder about geographic variation in the results. I live in Florida and 70 degrees is considered downright chilly and would have people layering up on sweaters.

    1. Asenath*

      Ah, yes. I’m in a chillier part of Canada, and 70 F is a nice warm summer day. For work, I’d go a bit cooler: 20 C (googles) 68 F. Nighttime temperatures I like a bit lower for comfortable sleeping.

      1. Zombeyonce*

        Please tell me the name of this magical place where summer means 70 degrees so I can move there immediately.

        1. Asenath*

          It’s Newfoundland, average temperature in July 21 C (69 F) according to a page I found, and that sounds about right. And it doesn’t get that cold in the winter, either, not like Winnipeg or Ottawa. On the other hand, well, if you decide to move here, I hope you like lots of precipitation (much of it freezing), high winds and fog!

          1. Zombeyonce*

            I’ve actually visited there! We got stuck an extra 2 days because there was so much fog the planes couldn’t take off or land. But it was lovely otherwise!

    2. Cheesecake2.0*

      Yeah I wonder about this too. I live in Southern California and 75-76 is totally normal indoor temp here. I remember when I moved here 8 years ago though, I was always too hot unless it was around 67-68 inside.

    3. Jules the 3rd*

      And seasonal variation. 72 degrees is ok for me in December, but too cold in June.

      For menstruating people, there may also be a monthly variation – there’s about 3 days/month where I am cold at 80.

      Not much anyone else can do about that, except set the thermometer to a middling temp and support anyone’s individual requirements.

    4. Phx Acct, now with dragons*

      Yeah, in Phoenix my house air is set at 83 in the summer. In the office, anything below 75 I HAVE to put on a cardigan, because I’m sitting at a desk (not moving around) and freezing my bits off.

      1. Zona the Great*

        Yep especially today at 110–the office A/C is cranking out the freezing cold.

    5. Pipe Organ Guy*

      Southern Arizona here, and the outside temperature is running 100 or a bit more right now. I like to keep the A/C in my office at 76, and turn the fan to “circ” so that the fan runs part of the time that the compressor isn’t running. Someone else, though, who shares this A/C unit likes to turn the fan back to “auto” and turns the thermostat to 73 or 74. That’s too cold for me for office work. I think the setpoint on the main church A/C is about 73 or 74; it has to be comfortable for people wearing choir robes or vestments. And it works for me, because playing the organ can get pretty active.

      At home we keep the A/C at 76 or 77 when we’re home, 76 at night, and up to 79 or 80 when we’re at work (we have cats, so we don’t go higher than that, and it takes too long to bring the temperature back down). Right now, during the dry part of the summer, we’re using evaporative cooling, letting it go as low as 73. It’s a different experience from refrigeration. At some point when it’s not cooling very well, we’ll switch over to the A/C.

      1. Close Bracket*

        My swamp cooler brings the temperature down to all of 85 in SA at this time of year. :(

      2. I Don’t Remember What Name I Used Before*

        I lived in the SoCal desert for a few years. I LOVED my swamp cooler! So much nicer than AC!

    6. Quoth the Raven*

      From Mexico City here. At 70 during winter I’d be very happy; during summer, I’d feel chilly. At 65 I’d be more likely than not to keep my sweater/jacket on, and anything lower than that I’m cursing out because it’s too damn cold –doubly so if it’s been raining (we don’t get snow).

      1. Clisby*

        Same here in SC. In the summer I keep the house at 80-82 (78 at night). In winter I keep it at 65-68 (60 at night.)

    7. pleaset*

      When I think Florida I think “freezing indoors” due to AC. Though I’ve only been there once, so maybe that’s wrong.

      1. Gyratory Circus*

        Nope, that’s pretty accurate. I live in South Florida and even now when it’s near 90 on a daily basis I have to take a sweater with me if we go out to dinner or a movie.

  3. Minimouse*

    As a skinny woman in northern Canada, I’ve gotten used to just layering up on sweaters. It’s easier than listening to the complaints of overheated people, who can’t take off more clothes.

    1. chocolate lover*

      “not without being fired and/or arrested, and not necessarily in that order” is how I’ve joked to coworkers about not being able to take off more clothes when I’m too hot (which is much of the time.)

      1. Czhorat*

        Fired is more likely than arrested.

        While it’s perfectly legal to walk around shirtless, that is frowned upon by most office dress codes.

    2. AudreyParker*

      The big thing with the cold for me is my hands – as annoying as it is, I’ve gotten used to needing thick sweaters, blankets and socks in August, but even various fingerless gloves options + microwaving mugs of water every 15 minutes doesn’t really mitigate the problem.

      1. ColdFingers Too!*

        Yes! My fingers get so cold. I have a pair of fingerless gloves in my desk drawer but I agree they only go so far.

          1. Miss Pantalones en Fuego*

            I’ve never found a pair that was thin enough. I have at times resorted to putting my mouse and keyboard under a towel or scarf to try and keep my hands warm. Only modestly successful but easier than gloves.

          1. ceiswyn*

            And the advice given? “Don’t get cold.”

            How many offices do you reckon would be willing to raise the temperature as a reasonable adjustment?

      2. lawschoolmorelikeblawschool*

        Yah, people at my office (myself included when it is bad enough) complain about cold hands. Blankets, sweaters, etc. all come out but no one wears gloves to type all day.

      3. Arts Akimbo*

        That’s my biggest problem! I suffer from fingers and toes that get positively arctic when I’m cold. In an office environment or anywhere I have to do computer work or have fine motor control, it’s really bad.

    3. anon moose, anon mouse*

      I’m not sure what body types have to do with anything? I haven’t listed to the podcast and can’t until later, so I’m not sure if that was mentioned, but I genuinely don’t understand what that has to do with anything since people of all different sizes experience similar reactions to different temperatures?

      1. Minimouse*

        Everyone has their own preferences for temperature but it is pretty typical that people with lower body fat get colder than others. Where I live (which is close to the arctic circle), people like to gain a bit of weight once the fall rolls around, just for this reason. It’s not a dig at body types, if that is what you are implying.

      2. FD*

        Many people who are thin report getting cold more easily than people who are of average weight. There are plenty of thin people who aren’t like this, of course, but it is one factor that can have an effect.

      3. Parfait*

        When I was eighty pounds heavier, I was totally comfortable with a light jacket in the midwestern winter. Now I am freezing in the southern California so-called winter when it gets below 70. I’m just not as well-insulated as I once was.

      4. Project Manager*

        All other things held equal, if you have a higher surface area to volume ratio, you will lose heat more easily.

        Of course, there are many other factors playing into whether one feels cold or hot, but I have definitely noted that I personally am less cold when my surface area to volume ratio is lower.

        (Of course, I still wore a sweatshirt in my office when I was nine months pregnant. In August. In Houston. So, sometimes even extra volume doesn’t help. I am so grateful that my husband is also an always-cold so I don’t have to be miserable in my own house.)

      5. pleaset*

        Part of the body’s cooling is through the skin. Skinny people and smaller people tend to more skin area than stouter people. So all else being equal, they’ll be cooler.

        Also fat under the skin is an insulator.

        Certainly people of all shapes and sizes have a range of different responses to temperature, but body size/shape is one factor.

      6. lawschoolmorelikeblawschool*

        I think fingers were mentioned because another commenter said you can bundle up, whereas wearing gloves/mittens isn’t always practical. This is a common issue in my office – people bundled up like crazy but freezing hands bc they are needed to type!

      7. Arts Akimbo*

        The straight-up physics of it is that if an animal has a higher surface-area-to-volume ratio it exchanges heat with its environment faster than animals with a relatively higher volume-to-surface-area ratio. Meaning small or skinny animals get cold faster vs. animals that are larger or have more body fat. (Different factors complicate this, of course, like metabolic rate, hormonal profiles, etc.)

      8. Another worker bee*

        Fat insulates you and muscle generates heat. Also as other commenters have mentioned, surface area-to-volume ratio matters, even at constant body composition. Small people, especially when sitting still, aren’t generating that much heat and are losing it pretty efficiently

      9. I Don’t Remember What Name I Used Before*

        Not really. I have dyspraxia and sensory processing disorder, and both of those effect how experience temperature. I get cold EXTREMELY easily. Being too cold is actually PAINFUL. And I was not any warmer when a medical crisis caused me to gain over 100 lbs than I was when I was a skinny beanpole.

  4. Sharkie*

    My dad just started a new job and they moved his office because of thermostat wars! 2 offices share a thermostat and the lady he shared it with would crank it up to 85+. My dad prefers it colder (would refuse to warm the house above 62 in the winter and 60 in the summer) and almost fainted. They moved him on his second day.

      1. Sharrbe*

        I once shared an apartment with someone who kept thermostat in mid 80’s in the winter and never opened a window in the summer. It was insane.

        1. RandomU...*

          My thermometer has been broken since I was a kid. I had to warn all my roommates that there will be a point in the middle of the night that I’m hot. The only way to fix this is to open the window (middle of winter upper midwest state) and sit in the cool air. I will shut the window again after. But don’t be surprised if you suddenly feel a draft.

        2. lawschoolmorelikeblawschool*

          I live in New England and once had a roommate from Georgia – my fellow New-England-roommate and I fought over her need to have it sauna like in the middle of winter until she moved out.

      2. MsChanandlerBong*

        When I had my heart attack last summer, it was hot as Hades in my hospital room. I got the nurse to turn down the thermostat, but then my roommate started complaining about being cold, so someone else turned the thermostat to 85. I was like…if you don’t want me to have another heart attack, we better call facilities and see about getting a portable fan. The worst part was that the vent was on my side of the room, so I’m the one who had the heat blowing on me when it was my roommate who was cold.

    1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      My old boss loved it cranked to a million degrees in the winter and ice cold in the summer. I’m talking about sweating in December and shivering in August levels. He would have tipped this study on it’s head but he’s a dear sweet angel and nothing he did made too much sense to anyone else.

      I’m glad that they moved him when they realized it was going to be bad for his health!!!!!

      1. Sharkie*

        Me too. I am also happy because he has worked at home for the past 6 years so he isn’t used to having to compromise the temp. It would totally distract him when he wasn’t feeling like he would pass out.

    2. Dwight*

      85 is not OK. I would be showing up in tank top, shorts, and flip flops to make a point (and probably get fired).

      1. Lance*

        No kidding; I wouldn’t doubt for a second that I would actually overheat in those kinds of conditions without a fan (or few) at the barest minimum.

        But then the fans would be noisy, which would make me miserable even if they did help to cool me down, so it’s a lose-lose.

      2. Sharkie*

        Oh god. I am picturing “vacation mode Dad” (with the craziest Hawaiian shirt of course and those dual glasses sunglasses flippy things that were huge in the 90’s) rolling up to his very white-collar office. Thank you for this visual

        1. Zombeyonce*

          “those dual glasses sunglasses flippy things that were huge in the 90’s”

          Apparently my dad never left the 90s, because he definitely still rocks those.

      3. Kotow*

        When I worked with someone who insisted on keeping it at 60, I kept my heavy winter coat, scarf, hat and gloves on the whole day to make a point. Because of course people think that those who are always cold can be uncomfortable but God forbid people be asked to keep the thermostat warmer than they’d like.

      1. irene adler*

        Damn straight!

        Our mfg manager does not seem affected by any temp extremes. In winter, when his crew is wearing jackets under their lab coats, blowing on their hands to keep warm, he is oblivious. In summer, as the AC unit is broken, it gets upwards of 85 degrees F. And again, while he isn’t affected, folks are sweating, lugging fans where they can to achieve some level of comfort. I’ve pointed this out to him (“get the AC unit repaired!”); he just does not see the need.
        One former tech was on meds (blood pressure, I believe) and he experienced headaches in warm temperatures. Awful watching him suffer.

    3. MusicWithRocksInIt*

      They really need to think smartly about were thermostats are located in office design and they never do. I used to work in a place where the thermostat for the huge cube farm area was inside a small enclosed office, so it was never accurate. And the guy who had that office was a fricken polar bear and liked it freezing cold. It wasn’t a clothing issue as all the men wore polo shirts and jeans and the woman mostly wore jeans and sweaters and coats and scarfs. It dipped below 60 sometimes in the winter. If you’ve ever clutched freshly copped pages to your chest because they are so nice and warm fresh from the copier – then you know true office cold.

      1. RandomU...*

        … and vents.

        My office building is essentially one long hallway with individual offices and a warehouse in the back. The thermostat is located in the hallway directly opposite my office. 1 of 2 vents for the hall is located in my office.

        Since I’m often on the phone in meetings I have my door shut. Which means none of my cool or warm air makes it to the thermostat to tell it to stop heating or cooling. So it’s merrily doing it’s job, meanwhile I’m sitting in a meat locker or a sauna, depending on if we have the heat going or the A/C. Don’t get me started on the fresh air vent that is open to the outside that blows hot and cold air on the thermostat that kicks it off and keeps it going.

      2. Asenath*

        Even if they do design the heating system well, someone will come along and renovate the place so that it is not obvious at all which thermostats control which areas. Eventually, people work some of it out, which is why you get signs in areas used by a lot of different people (like a certain meeting room) saying “THIS THERMOSTAT ALSO CONTROLS THE TEMPERATURE IN ROOMS X, Y AND Z!”. This does not guarantee that the people attending meetings will either leave the thermostat alone, or turn it back to its usual setting when they leave.

      3. ceiswyn*


        In the room put aside for MSc students at the institution I attended last year, the thermostat was in the direct path of the heating vent.

        The staff kept turning the temperature down and putting post-its on it telling us to stop turning it up. As far as anyone can tell, they just opened the door, felt the heat, noticed that the thermostat was set to 30, and decided we were all crazy lizards. They never came in far enough to notice that three steps into the room, where all the computers actually were, it was at least 10 degrees colder…

    4. voluptuousfire*

      Oof. God forbid that woman shared her office with a woman going through menopause!

  5. kc89*

    keep the office cool and let people wear layers if they want

    it’s the only fair way and that’s that

    1. fposte*

      The research is about productivity, though, not fairness. The employer is likely to care more about the temperature that results in the best productivity, even if the people who like it cold feel hard done by.

    2. Aspiring Chicken Lady*

      The days I have to pull out the fingerless gloves and sometimes a shawl that is essentially a wool blanket to sit at my desk (above and beyond my normal climate appropriate layers) are days that are NOT productive. The range is important here.

      1. RainbowsAndKitties*

        At LastJob I would wore gloves, a winter coat, and earmuffs for weeks. We had a thermostat issue though where one side of the office ran cold, and the other hot. Crank the temp up, and side B of the office is sweltering. Crank the temp down, and side A of the office is freezing. So the only happy medium was for everyone to be just a little miserable (slightly too hot on side B and slightly too cold on side A).

        1. KayEss*

          If they let you choose what side you sat on, that almost sounds like an ideal solution.

          1. RainbowsAndKitties*

            You’re right! If only we could have chosen where we wanted to sit it would have been perfect! However, it was organized by teams/people who work together often

        2. New Job So Much Better*

          The first summer I worked here it got so cold I put on 2 sweaters. The first time I did this I was working sitting still for some time, and when I finally started to get up I could barely move my arms. First thought was–I’m getting the flu! But no, I just couldn’t move my arms well in 2 heavy sweaters over my clothes.

          1. RainbowsAndKitties*

            Oh my gosh, that reminds me so much of the kid in A Christmas Story: “I can’t put my arms down!”

    3. Ingray*

      People who think keeping the office cool is “fair” forget that, just like there is a limit to how many layers you can take off and still be professional, there is a limit to how many layers you can put on and still be professional. Obviously there has to be a compromise and there’s no way to make everyone happy. But it irks me when people frame “set the thermostat low and let the cold people bundle up” as the CORRECT way to do it that leaves everyone happy. If it’s cold enough to turn my fingernails blue I’m going to be uncomfortable no matter how many sweaters I wear, and I can’t wear mittens and a ski mask in the office.

      1. VAP*

        Exactly. I know my layering (I did outdoor work for a bit where I was literally sitting in snow for hours, trust me I can layer), but below a certain temperature I’m just not able to be comfortable or relaxed. Wearing lots of sweaters is kind of a pain, and like you said it doesn’t really fix it—when my fingers are so cold that they’re starting to lose dexterity and my nose is cold to the touch, I’m not happy, comfortable or productive, and really the only solution to that is a warmer temperature.

      2. Silver Fig*

        My boss bought me a Snuggie for Christmas two years ago. So, while my cheetah-print blanket with arms may not technically be found in the dress code, it is manager approved.

      3. Pipe Organ Guy*

        This reflects the conditions in some places where organists do their work, especially practicing.

        We went on a couple of tours of French churches and the organists in the group got to play the organs in those churches. There was one church, a decommissioned Gothic abbey church with a notable organ that has never been altered since it was built in (I think) the 1890s. Maintained, yes; altered, no. The building itself is magnificent. We were there in March. It was also COLD. We could see our breath. Every minute we weren’t playing, we were wearing gloves. It was one of the chilliest places we visited. I’m glad I don’t have to work under those conditions!

        1. Kotow*

          LOL my husband is an organist and does repair work as well. I’ve had to go with him on occasion to help him and those organ chambers are FREEZING! Some of them are I swear 30 degrees colder than everywhere else–and those reeds are NOT easy to maneuver when you’re wearing gloves.

      4. Lynn Whitehat*

        YES. I’m so tired of people talking down to me about this, like I’m a 4-year-old who wants to wear shorts in January.

        1) There is a limit to how bundled up you can be and still look remotely professional. And of course all the “just put on a sweater!” people get really aggressive about “come on! Take off your coat! Stay a while!” if you try to follow their advice.

        2) There is a limit to how much clothing can even do for you. Especially if you need to type and can’t wear mittens.

        After 20 years of office work, I have FINALLY found an office that doesn’t create an endless winter indoors. In Texas. It is heaven! I finally got to buy some office clothes other than thick sweaters and winter-weight pants.

        My first job out of college was at IBM. They had a cost-saving initiative where anyone could propose anything, and you got a cut of the cost savings if they used your idea. I suggested keeping the AC less Arctic in summer. I was naive enough to think maybe no one ever thought of that before, and dreamed about all the cool stuff I was going to do with my cut. Ah, was I ever so young?

      5. Marissa*

        Thank you! I get really tired of being piled on about how much easier it is to warm up than to cool down. When it’s in the 90’s outside I’m still going to work in winter outfits and have more layers to bundle up in when I get there. It is not productive. I know finding a compromise temperature is tough and you’ll always have people who are too hot and too cold in the office, but why is it ok to cater to the warmest person instead of finding middle ground?

    4. MusicWithRocksInIt*

      According to the study woman are at a disadvantage when the temperature is cooler – and they do worse in cold temps then men do in warm ones, so the actual conclusion was it was overall better for everyone if the office is kept warm. I’m sure anyone can find good justification for keeping the office their own preferred temperature – but the idea that people can just deal with cold temperatures is theoretically hurting women in the workplace.

      1. MOAS*

        I, and the many women who have posted above, would not be productive or comfortable in extremely warm temps.

        1. OwlEditor*

          No one has said “extremely warm” I’d take the 60s… but it sure doesn’t feel like that here.

    5. mcr-red*

      In the winter, because it’s cold year-round in my office now, I have seriously wore:

      T Shirt Under the Sweater
      Jeans (because at that point, I didn’t care anymore)
      Blanket #1 on my lap
      Blanket #2 around my shoulders like a shawl
      Compression Gloves

      It is hard to be productive under all of that. And I have RA, and being too cold f-s it up hardcore.

      1. pleaset*

        I wear long underwear top and bottom – Uniqlo brand recently. That stuff has a huge impact relative to weight/thickness.

        1. mcr-red*

          I will probably look into that this winter. Although, my coworker who is a big guy but is like me and freezing, has told me he’s worn long underwear, a sweater and a jacket and is still freezing in our office in winter.

      2. Zombeyonce*

        Do they allow you to have a space heater? If not, you might get one approved just as a medical accommodation for your RA.

    6. Maya Elena*

      You could argue that the thermostat should be higher as an equity issue, if only to compensate for environmental defaults that are built around the comfort of white male upper management, who control both the thermostat and the dress code.

      That said, it’s one study, based on specific cognitive tasks that do not necessarily correlate with actual workplace performance; the population was students and not adult employees, and they certainly weren’t stratified by ethnicity, metabolism, amount of sleep the night before, or proximity to lunchtime which might throw a major wrench into deriving the “true” gender-temperature-performance relationship.

    7. Arts Akimbo*

      Don’t know how I’m supposed to layer enough on my fingers so that they stay warm enough to keep me productive and accurate.

      1. wafflesfriendswork*

        If it’s cold enough my poor fingers *ache* and my typing is so so much slower. I am an always always cold person.

        1. Mr. Shark*

          Yes. The bizarre thing about my office is that sometimes it’s hot outside, and they finally turn on the AC, and then it’s so cold inside that you can’t type anything. People bring in blankets even though it’s warm outside, simply because the AC is so cold.

          Other times, it’s hot, and they don’t put on the AC, so you’re just dying of heat. I use a small USB fan to try and stay cool (like right now). I don’t know why it’s so difficult to pick a reasonable temperature and stick with it. I understand not everyone will be happy with any specific temperature, but generally it seems 72 degrees is pretty standard.

    8. ceiswyn*

      My work involves large amounts of typing. I have Raynaud’s Syndrome.

      Please to explain how many layers I can wear on my fingers to avoid them going white and numb.

  6. The Man, Becky Lynch*

    I love temperature wars because they make me smile. My first job ever was in a poorly built tent of plastic constructed within a frigid warehouse. So I’m like “Whatever whomever is complaining the most wants, just do it and I’ll dress up or down.” The only reason we got to have the tent was my boss was deathly afraid of the computers and needed them out of his vision and “contained”. He sat in the middle of this huge warehouse at a long desk with nothing but his pencil, pad of paper and telephone that he used on speaker phone. The idea that men do better in the cold makes me understand him only that little bit more, lol.

    I actually do better on the colder side of things, I like a cozy sweater and to be able to drink a warm coffee. Warm. Only warm. I loath you hot beverages, that’s a whole different kettle of fish there though.

    1. ThursdaysGeek*

      At my first professional job, the union people had a deal where they got overtime if the temperature where they were working in the building was 100 or higher. And I remember a big kerosene heater being used in the winter, since there was probably a lower temperature limit too. It was a lab, and with hood fans going, all the air was being sucked out of the building, so it was hard to keep it different from the outside temperature.

      1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

        This is a genius clause in their CBA. I applaud the ones who came up with that!

        After working in the freezer setup, I worked in a shop that had decent air circulation thankfully but no AC. So the guys just walked around shirtless during the summer. My boss told me I didn’t “have to” let them hang out in my air conditioned office and I was like “I’m not a savage, I’ll share my cool air with them during their break time and then they have to put their shirts back on.” >:]

        It was fine during the winter at least, with the machines running we had plenty of warmth that way.

    2. Phx Acct, now with dragons*

      Can we please have more explanation about this tent and computer phobia?

      1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

        Radiation poisoning fears. It was also why he used speaker phone extensively.

        He had an awful incident as a child that exposed him to dangerous chemicals.

    3. Zombeyonce*

      One office I worked at had feuds about the temperature and people were constantly adjusting the temp on the thermostat.

      Maintenance installed a plastic lockbox over the thermostat where you could still see the temp setting but couldn’t change it. I have never seen people that fought so much on a regular basis band together so quickly to learn to pick a lock with a paperclip. It took them 2 days to break it. Maintenance gave up after that.

      1. Anonyby*

        The wall spaces in our office were too narrow for lockboxes over the thermostats, so property management put in fancy ones that they could lock electronically. If you try to put it up or down further than the limits they set, it just stops responding at the limit.

  7. Angela*

    I don’t know the temp at my office, other than it’s COLD. As in people regularly wear sweaters and even bring in blankets. Meanwhile, we had a heat index of 100 degrees a few days ago.

    As someone who gets cold easily, there are times when the cold air even affects my ability to type!

    1. Boobookitty*

      I’ve sometimes had to wear fingerless gloves while working because my hands were so cold but I needed to type.

  8. RainbowsAndKitties*

    Ohh temperature wars! It is a beautiful 72 degrees outside, and I am currently in my office wearing two layers of sweaters, a blanket on my lap, and sipping a warm hot cocoa. I’m almost to the point of bringing in gloves like I did with my last job. I always figure that I can add more layers, but people who are hot can’t really alleviate that as easily. So I adjust

    1. Anax*

      I’m dreadfully jealous of your weather, at least! Yesterday was 102F here, and I was low-key dying even from home.

      1. RainbowsAndKitties*

        Eek! Luckily it doesn’t USUALLY get quite that hot here in the Midwest. More like high 90’s during the hottest days of summer.

    2. Dame Judi Brunch*

      That was my theory too. Layers are easily added. It helps that I’ve always preferred cooler office temperatures. At Old Office the AC was broken for 2 weeks and it was awful. I was suffering and figured it was a glimpse into how those people that run hot feel normally.
      Of course, I never had to go as far as blankets and gloves to stay warm.

      1. ceiswyn*

        There is a point at which it is impossible to keep adding warm layers and still conform to the office dress code. It is not as warm a point as you might assume. Especially on the fingers.

        1. I Don’t Remember What Name I Used Before*

          I once lived somewhere where it snowed. No matter how many layers I put on (and it was a LOT), I was NEVER warm in winter the entire time I lived there.

    3. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

      It is 103 F outside and I am wearing a sweater, fleece blanket, long pants, and boots drinking hot coffee and eating soup. My hands and fingers are freezing, so tomorrow I am going to bring hats and gloves. At present, only two of us are cold, so it looks to be a heavily bundled up summer

      1. RainbowsAndKitties*

        Oy! I guess our winter wardrobes are going to apply through the whole year haha

  9. Venus*

    Can anyone easily find the study about negotiating for raises being viewed as more aggressive with some groups? I would love references for this!

      1. Close Bracket*

        I don’t have a study for this, but an episode of Bossed Up had a speaker talk about the intersectional aspects of negotiation where African American women who negotiate don’t experience the same negative perception as white woman on average (always note the on average–YMMV). The model to explain this was that acting out-of-type led to negative outcomes regardless of what the type is. White women are supposed to be collaborative and caretaking, so asking for something for themselves, like a higher salary, is acting in opposition to type, and they are penalized. African American women who negotiate are seen as acting in accordance with the angry black woman stereotype, and they are penalized less bc they are acting in accordance to type. It was a fascinating discussion!

        1. Krickets*

          This is definitely fascinating but also unsurprising as a PoC. If anything, it’s depressing! For once I just want a potential employer not to try and take advantage and shortchange us, then view us PoC differently after we negotiate and ask for higher $ tings.

        2. Fortitude Jones*

          If this were true, then I would expect that black women would be paid more than white ones on average based on us being penalized less in negotiations (meaning we’d then get what we asked for) – but we’re not. It’s possible that “penalized less” means we wouldn’t get what we asked for, but also wouldn’t get an offer pulled, but I need to see some actual data to back this up. Most of the data I’ve seen says black people across the board are penalized more than any other race for negotiating.

        3. D'Arcy*

          No, it’s not that black women aren’t penalized for being “aggressive”. It’s that black women are *already* penalized for being “aggressive” whether or not they actually negotiate due to being stereotyped as “angry black women”, whereas white women are only penalized for being “aggressive” if they negotiate.

          1. PersephoneUnderground*

            Yeah, that’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenario. Conforming to a negative expectation doesn’t stop it from hurting you, and neither does trying to not conform (by not negotiating- well great, now you’re definitely paid less than people who are judged positively for negotiating and do so). *Sigh*

      2. Venus*

        Thank you! I’ve been trying to research these topics in my spare time, and have had problems finding relevant, solid, statistically valid studies. I know they exist, as I have seen them over the years, but there are so many irrelevant and anecdotal websites which drown them out. This is in a reputable journal, with a reasonable N, and it makes me very happy thank you!

        I might post a request for more on the Friday open thread as I wonder if anyone else has a research interest in the topic…

  10. Czhorat*

    Some offices have started using apps that let each worker select their ideal temperature, and then actually set it to the consensus result. I’m not sure if this is better or worse, but it’s one option which gives everyone a sense of participation and attempts to reach a compromise.

    1. Silver Fig*

      How does this work, mathematically? It can’t be the mean, or people would put in insane extremes to game the system.

      1. Czhorat*

        I presume it uses a median temperature; it’s apparently been implemented by multiple large firms as part of a “smart building” strategy.

      2. RandomU...*

        /RandomU pulls up app and sets preferred temperature to -10 F
        Next day… +105
        Day after +110
        Day after that -25

        Sits back and watches the show :)

    2. Lily Rowan*

      The problem in most places I’ve worked is that the temperature varies so widely around the building. So right now I am comfortable but an office that basically shares a wall with me is stifling hot. And probably someone else nearby is too cold! This has been my experience even in new construction.

      1. Marissa*

        I wonder if the app could come up with a solution for that? Like, collect data points of temps around the office and to the extent possible match people with the temp that best suits them? It would be a time investment for sure, but probably worth the productivity boost.

  11. Curiouser and Curiouser*

    I’m always baffled by the temperature wars. I’m a woman and the idea of 70-80 sounds hellishly hot. But I do completely understand that I am in the minority, lol.

    1. Crank up the air!*

      70 to 80 would mean I would be a puddle on the floor! Ye gads. Do the study with menopausal women and see what the result is!

      But even as a college student i wanted it colder – I think one reason I got into computers was that the mainframe was in an air-conditioned building.

      1. Arts Akimbo*

        I don’t get it! I’m a menopausal woman and I’d still prefer everything to be 75. When do I get to enjoy the air conditioning, LOL??

        1. your favorite person*

          I’m very pregnant in the summer- I was told I was going to be miserable and hot. And yet, most of the time I’m still uncomfortably cold at work.

      2. Curiouser and Curiouser*

        HA! Yeah, I’m in my early 30s and I am constantly too hot. I keep my house as cold as I can…cheap in the winter, not so much in the summer ;)

    2. pcake*

      I’m a woman, and I work best between around 68 and 72. When it gets over 74, I’m uncomfortable enough for it to impact my work. At 80 degrees, I, too, am a puddle on the floor, and anywhere over 80 and I start running a fever and feeling pretty unwell. I’m over 60, but I’ve always had problems being comfortable or functional when it’s hot.

  12. Anax*

    On the temperature issues – is there a point where it becomes an ADA or OSHA issue?

    85F or higher, like some folks have mentioned for their offices, would likely give me heat exhaustion. I’m pretty sensitive to heat, but that feels like a different level of concern – major medical issue, rather than discomfort.

    (Obviously, some jobs are outdoors or otherwise can’t have temperature control – I’m talking thermostat wars, not jobs where working in all temperatures is a primary job requirement.)

    (There may well be something medical underlying my own sensitivity; I’m working on getting it sorted. For now, I’m just… very, very careful, and don’t go outside if it’s above 80F or sunny. It is very annoying.)

    1. fposte*

      It’s likelier to be ADA before OSHA. OSHA has a technical manual with a suggested range but it doesn’t require any particular temperature; temperature would just fall under the standard of a workplace “free from recognizable hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious harm to employees.”

      It’s pretty rare for the thermostat wars to take people over 80º, though.

    2. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      It’s not under OSHA, the requirements under OSHA would just mean that you have to have appropriate PPE if you’re in extremes. You’re also taught about combating heat exhaustion and how to spot it and treat it, etc.

      ADA, is your best bet but even then, it’s not a slam dunk. Their idea of reasonable accommodation may be to throw you a fan or one of those tiny personal AC units for your desk.

      It can be an issue with breathing conditions. A loved one has COPD and has to stay inside the house during hot days because of exhaustion on their lungs.

    3. Goya de la Mancha*

      I think OSHA recommends between 65-75, but I’m not sure. And I don’t think it’s mandatory, just a recommendation.

  13. Amethystmoon*

    I crochet as a hobby. Since the building I work in doesn’t have good air temperature variance, or perhaps it has too much variance and the conference rooms tend to be freezing while the rest of the area is normal, I made myself a conference room shawl using an off-white color of yarn so that it goes with everything. Maybe it’s not a resolution for everyone, but if you crochet or knit, it might work for you.

  14. Boom! Tetris for Jeff!*

    Comfort, productivity, preference, looking professional – those are subjective and individual! What’s not subjective and individual is the amount of energy required to heat the space in the winter and to cool in the summer. My standing suggestion is to go with lower energy option. Keep the place cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer. You use less energy and the discomfort experienced by a portion of the work force is distributed throughout the year.

    1. fposte*

      Productivity isn’t necessarily subjective, though, and it wasn’t in the study–it was qualitatively determined.

    2. MusicWithRocksInIt*

      I have to say this is my preference as well – just so you can wear the same clothes in the office and outside. I hate having to bundle up to come to work in the summer or dig out light clothes to come to work in the winter. I also wish more office buildings had windows that opened. I wouldn’t mind being a little cold or a little warm if we got fresh air.

  15. Camellia*

    I’m sure our offices are set to the ‘average’ temperature because every woman is wearing a sweater or jacket (over whatever other clothes they are wearing) and all of the men are in shirt sleeves.

    I find this article interesting because a few weeks ago I told my husband, “I am tired of being so cold all the time.” I never get to enjoy this thing called summer because he likes to keep his car at 65 degrees (F) so I have to wear a heavy sweater. Then we go into restaurants or businesses and they, too, use the ‘average’ temperature so I have to carry/wear a sweater. And of course, work, as addressed above.

    It is very draining to feel cold all the time. And sometimes extra clothes don’t help because where you sit has the cold air blowing right on you. At home, we had ‘compromised’ with the thermostat at 73. But every seat in the house has an air vent that blows right on it. I would be sitting in my chair with pants, socks, shoes, long sleeve shirt, sweater, and an afghan under which I would tuck my hands. And my nose/face would freeze. So I told him a few weeks ago that I was tired being cold all the time and I wanted to raise the temp to 74. He reluctantly agreed to try it. Wow! The difference to me at home. I still wear pants and long shirts but can often do away with the extra sweater, and rarely need the afghan. And I’m sleeping so much better! I did not expect that, had not even thought of it, but I feel much better for it. He got a window air conditioner for his office, and is doing okay otherwise, so yay!

    1. DaniCalifornia*

      I feel you! We work in a historic building that has terrible heating during the winter and no insulation so for 3 months we type with frozen fingers and even space heaters don’t do much. If you have a specific seat in your house (like on the couch for tv or where you read or in bed) you can try closing the vent that blows on you, or turning it the opposite way. I’ve had my husband do that for where I sit and it helped a lot. Glad you all could compromise on 74.

  16. Close Bracket*

    I tried to negotiate for more vacation when I was told more salary wasn’t on the table. I got told, “we just raised the entry level amount, so that’s what it is.” Man, was I pissed. I should add that they raised the entry level amount to bring it in line with industry standards, so it felt really petty. Like, “how much more could you possible want?”

    1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      I find that most places I’ve dealt with are pretty set in not deviating from the set vacation setup they have in place, it’s always classified under “it’s hard to keep track of that way” [which is stupid IMO as an HR professional but I have taken over setups where they’re extremely strict because heaven forbid you spend any extra time than necessary to keep track of things and let people use their benefits the way they see fit]. So

      I’m sort of fascinated by the stories that people are able to negotiate that.

      1. Fortitude Jones*

        I was able to negotiate both for my new position with a software company. The company actually gave me everything I asked for with no back and forth, so that’s a first for me. Anyway, I used language similar to what Alison wrote where I said I already had 15 days of vacation, so I don’t want to go back to 10 if at all possible. I was also prepared to make the argument that giving me five extra days wouldn’t actually harm the company in any way because they’d be paying for those five days whether I was working or not while away on PTO. Luckily, I didn’t have to say much more – they gave me the time due to seniority, plus two paid personal days, and I was happy.

        1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

          Are you in a senior position with a lot of experience? I only ask because I can see that playing into it! If you want a seasoned professional with a lot of experience, you tend to be willing to negotiate. However if it’s a lower level position, there’s no desire to be bothered with giving more, when you don’t need to? It also makes sense since tech is a hot industry and I know they’re willing to budge a whole lot more because they want the best and know they have to pay for it!

          1. Close Bracket*

            I’m in a senior position with a lot of experience. It didn’t matter, either on the salary or the vacation. I should add that I work for the only major employer in my field in the city. In other cities I have lived, there were multiple employers for people with my background, which I believe kept salaries and total compensation competitive.

            1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

              Ah, only employer in the game in the area. That rings so many bells and none of them are good ones =(

          2. Fortitude Jones*

            I’m mid-level career-wise, and still entry level in terms of this particular role (proposal writing/management – haven’t even been doing this two years yet), but it could be the tech thing that made the difference.

            1. Fortitude Jones*

              I also negotiated my base salary up from a 5% bump to a nearly 27% bump – forgot to include that. And my unused vacation time rolls over so, theoretically, I could have more than 3 weeks of vacation in addition to my 10 sick days and two paid personal days next year.

              1. Close Bracket*

                I’m a hardware engineer. Not tech in the colloquial sense of the word, but techy enough. I think the difference in our experiences is employer driven, not seniority or field driven.

                1. Fortitude Jones*

                  Thanks! I was really proud of myself, especially since people told me I probably wouldn’t get everything I asked for because the company was allowing me to work from home 100% of the time with only occasional travel to headquarters/industry conferences.

      2. Jadelyn*

        As another HR professional, I’m…not sure I agree with you on it being “stupid” to cite PTO tracking issues as a reason to not want to negotiate from a set PTO plan. I feel like it would be heavily dependent upon company size, systems in place for PTO already, etc.

        At my org we’ve allowed people to negotiate “skipping” to the second accrual grade (after 2 years, you go from 2 wk/yr to 3 wk/yr) from the start before, because it was fairly simple to do and it fell in line with existing accrual setups, only requiring minor modifications to the existing plans. But, speaking as an HRIS admin, if you’re talking about giving someone their own unique PTO arrangement, that could well be a legit pain, depending on how you manage your PTO system.

        Like, at my org, if we wanted to do that for someone, we’d have to get our account manager at our HRIS vendor involved and have them build us a new PTO accrual plan and bucket with all the appropriate settings for carryover, accrual caps, tenure adjustments, LOA accrual blocking, associated paycodes in the time tracking subsystem, etc. – and speaking from experience dealing with that company, there would be at least two calls to clarify various questions and a long email string before we could get them to understand what we need and verify that it’s all set up correctly and is ready to use. We would have to REALLY want that specific hire in order to go through all that just for one person.

        So as much as I’d like to be flexible and let people negotiate, it actually could quickly become a PITA depending on how often you hire and what you offer in those negotiations. And I would quite frankly put my foot down on building out more than one or two individual PTO plans – the more cluttered the PTO plans dropdown list gets, the more likely it is that someone other than me entering a new hire might grab the wrong plan by mistake, which may or may not get caught right away and might result in us having to go back and adjust accruals…at a certain point it’s more trouble than your average new hire is likely to be worth.

        1. Close Bracket*

          See, at previous employers, I hired in at the second level of PTO grade without negotiating based on my background. It wasn’t a custom plan, it was the same plan that everybody with, say, 5 years at the company came in at. Except they counted my 5 previous years at other companies. I didn’t negotiate for a certain amount, I asked whether I could get more PTO if there was no room for salary increase. If I had asked for an extra 3 days when they only increment in 5s, I could see that being a pain. But I just asked for more and got a flat no.

    2. Clever username goes here*

      I was also able to negotiate more vacation than was offered initially. At my current job, I now get 4 weeks which is pretty generous for North America at the individual contributor level. I’m moving to a new job next week as a functional manager. New company offered 3 weeks, I said I’d really like to keep the 4 I already have. My recruiter gave me a great suggestion – tell them WHY you want the extra time. I use my PTO for executive development courses, and also to accompany my kid on field trips (he requires a parent present). New boss didn’t blink an eye. I also didn’t ask for more money, which probably helped.

      1. 2 Cents*

        Maybe I’m missing something, but why should an employer care WHY you want the extra time (because I don’t want to spend all my days at work should be a good enough reason). I’m glad it worked out for you, but I can see this becoming problematic if suddenly I was being judged for wanting an extra week because I like to sit in my house and binge-watch Netflix rather than do something even vaguely altruistic.

        1. Teal*

          Well he said he uses some of the time in ways that benefit the company, so of course that sways them. They’d love for you to spend all your vacation catching up on work.

        2. wittyrepartee*

          They shouldn’t care- but it humanizes you. Now they’re not saying no to the extra days off, they’re saying no to extra days off to spend with your kid.

    3. Mouse*

      I managed to get 4 extra days when I started my current (entry level) job. I had been an intern at the company for about a year and knew how they operate. They wouldn’t budge on salary, so I played the “5?” “3?” “4?” “4!” negotiation game with HR. However, in the second year of employment, you’re supposed to get 5 extra days, and I only got 1. So now I’m “back on track”. I was not super happy about that–if people negotiate salary, the extra doesn’t go away after a year!–but there wasn’t really anything I could do.

      1. Close Bracket*

        “if people negotiate salary, the extra doesn’t go away after a year!”

        But you might not get as big of a raise. I don’t care. If I have more now, I can use more now, both salary and PTO. I have to wait like 5 years before I get more PTO, and I can only carry a certain amount over.

        1. Fortitude Jones*

          I’m already preparing to get small cost of living increases going forward, lol. I mean, they gave me close to the top of the range for this position, and there’s really nowhere for me to be promoted to, so I imagine I won’t be receiving much in terms of base salary increases going forward (maybe bonuses) unless they create another new role for me to slide into with a higher salary band.

          1. Close Bracket*

            I hired in at the bottom of a narrow salary band range (ouch, guys, seriously), and if I get small raises, I’m going to be pissed. I took a pretty big effective salary cut compared to my last job. Between this and the PTO pettiness, if it hadn’t been so damn hard to find a job in the first place, I would plan on looking again in a year.

            1. Fortitude Jones*

              I feel you. I know you said this is the only big employer in your field and in your area, but is there a remote possibility at a larger company out of state? I’ve been seeing a lot of work from home positions lately, so if you have seniority in your field, maybe you may be able to leverage that someplace else? Or is taking a lateral move to another field that’s close to what you currently do an option? Just something for you to think about…

      2. designbot*

        yeah, actually it’s pretty common that if someone’s negotiated their salary up towards the high end of the range, that they don’t have as far up to go in the future. Sometimes that’s a stated thing, like places that do salary bands or tiers, or sometimes it’s more of an intuitive “well you’re already making a lot so you don’t need more” thing.

  17. DaniCalifornia*

    I wish I could negotiate more vacation time. We work in a tiny 10 person office. During tax season and mini tax season we are expected 24/7 and regularly work 60 – 70+ hours and no one is allowed PTO. I’ve calculated that with the extra deadlines there are ~5 months that we can’t use PTO. We get 3 weeks for everything (vacation or sick, use them how you want to.) I used to think that 3 weeks off in ~ 7 months isn’t so bad but forgot to factor in how exhausted we all are after each tax season, we could all use a week off just to return to a normal brain state. Many of us get sick and have to use PTO for that due to exhaustion.

    Meanwhile our owner took 9 + weeks off (including during tax season and 1 trip on a DEADLINE!) He doesn’t even up your PTO when you’ve worked here for years. Our manager still only gets 3 weeks, same as a new hire, and she’s been here 15+ years. My husband is at a larger corporation that increases his PTO every year so we’ve both worked at our jobs for 7/8 years respectively and he has almost 5 weeks off + sick time + personal time back/can work from home. So if I’m sick at all during the year, he can have 2+ weeks of vacation without me.

    I cannot wait for a new job. This is just one reason why it’s toxic here but I’m hopeful to find a new job that either has unlimited PTO/WFH capability or if I have to take a pay cut I can negotiate more PTO for my level.

  18. Krickets*

    We need a guide on how to negotiate salaries and benefits—and other things if the first two don’t work out—in the public sector (i.e. Gov agencies, public universities, departments, etc…)

    1. Katertot*

      I would be really interested in this too – especially from anyone with experience in a public university.

      1. Cheesecake2.0*

        I’ve worked at 3 large public universities as staff or student employee – benefits were completely non-negotiable. Stuff like sick time/paid holidays was standardized for everyone. Vacation was based on “time in service” (how many years in state funded jobs you had) and could not be changed. Salary was somewhat negotiable, but generally HR already had the “range” set based on the job description that was written and they would refuse to go beyond that. If your experience is such that you truly should be paid more than range for the role, then you were not applying to the right job. Faculty may have more room to negotiate salary but generally all other benefits are standardized for them too.

        1. Krickets*

          @Cheesecake2.0 thank you for responding. Where I’m at, the public university is a large employer in the area, so there’s that. I find your comment helpful and enlightening, but also a bit daunting especially the part about not applying to the right job haha. It’s hard to find openings.

  19. Goya de la Mancha*

    We can’t seem to win a temp war with our building let alone against each other. We all agree that it’s not a desirable program currently, but the genius that built our office put the thermostat in line with the only the front window that gets FULL sun at the end of the day. So right about 2pm the AC kicks in full force, but if we turn it down, then in the AM we’re sweltering in non circulating air.

    1. Miss Pantalones en Fuego*

      Can you rig up a shade for the thermostat? Like maybe just a piece of heavy paper taped to the wall over it? It might help, depending on how warm that whole area gets.

  20. DataGirl*

    My problem, and I don’t know know if this happens with other people or I’m just a special snowflake- is that I have fibromyalgia and arthritis that makes cold air EXTREMELY PAINFUL. At home I can barely use a fan- even if it’s hot/I’m sweating it hurts to have cold air touch my skin. FWIW I have a friend with MS who has the same problem with hot air. I could tolerate an office at 70-72, if the temp was consistent, but when the a/c kicks in I’m miserable. Example- it’s 74 degrees in my cube right now but I have a heating pad, blanket, and gloves on to counteract the a/c.

    I understand I’m probably in the minority and always have been in offices where it’s kept cold, I just wish people wouldn’t be such jerks about temperature and understand that it’s a much bigger deal (for me at least) than just liking it warm.

  21. Beezus*

    I’m curious if women are just more sensitive to temperature regardless? Because I am only in my early 30s and have never been heat tolerant. A 75F+ office would make me sick. Being nauseous, sweaty, and uncomfortable would, I’d think, impact my productivity just as much as someone who was too cold. Anyway, I am just nosy but too lazy to google and thinking aloud.

    I also wonder if it has to do with people just sitting at their desk and not getting up to move around that their hands and feet are constantly cold.

    1. Sneaky Ninja for this one*

      Yes. I feel ill if the weather or temp is what most people would call nice. Ugh. I hate sweating when I’m just sitting.

    2. Abby*

      Physics says that smaller humans (or other organisms!) are going to be more sensitive to the temperature of their environment, and women do tend to, on average, be smaller than men.

  22. Sneaky Ninja for this one*

    As a lady person, I cannot agree with a temp between 70-80. 70, 72 max, is comfortable for normal, desk type office work. I’d die at 80. Moving around? 62 is comfy.

  23. OwlEditor*

    I work in an eight story building. I don’t know who set the temperature, but all I know is I’m sitting here dressed in slacks and a shirt with sleeves to my elbows. I also have a blanket and a sweater and gloves on and shoes and socks (my feet are cold, though) while my male coworker is sitting right next to me in a elbow length shirt and slacks. I have a fan at my desk, so to all those people out there who have to have it cold, get a fan! You’ll survive.

      1. DataGirl*

        A lot of cities have ordinances against space heaters as a fires hazard. No rules against fans.

  24. Kimmy Schmidt*

    I wish temperatures were adjusted more seasonally instead of picking a preference for hotter or colder. In the summer, my office blasts the AC. I walk in from outside sweating and warm and immediately need to put on a sweater, and sometimes a blanket on my lap. I hate that jarring transition more than the actual temperature.

    1. Clisby*

      I agree. That’s why I keep my house daytime temp at 80-82 during summer; it’s about 10 degrees cooler (and dehumidified) compared to outside, so it seems fine to me. During winter, I keep it at 65-68, for the same reason.

      1. Kimmy Schmidt*

        Same! I love those couple months in the spring/fall where I can just turn off my heat/AC and my shaded apartment adjusts to a lovely comfortable range. I wish it was feasible for my office to do that.

    2. Miss Pantalones en Fuego*

      Me too. I actually found it more comfortable when I lived in the desert to open the windows and get an exhaust fan going, even when it was over 100, than to go in and out of ridiculously cold buildings. I got used to being warm which was also an advantage when working outside all day in the heat.

      Obviously that’s an extreme case but I wonder how much of the temperature wars is due to the inherently artificial environment of office buildings. Maybe if we had workplaces and homes that didn’t differ so much from the outside we’d feel the effects less? Just idle speculation.

  25. Utoh!*

    We have an entire floor (40 people) who are all women and due to the issues of people being too hot/cold a former manager made fleece throws for people who were too cold so that those who weren’t would not be made uncomfortable by having the temp raised. It’s an ongoing struggle in my department as well. When we walk in the door, the vestibule is either blowing very warm or very cold air, which is something new…thankfully once you are passed that area, it’s better. I, like others, have a fan at my desk, it’s not even blowing on me directly, just providing some circulation as this place is so stagnant, the high cubicles covered in fabric prevent any air flow.

  26. A Fan of Fans*

    I know I’m just one (female) college student, but if it’s above 68-69 degrees I start to get too hot. My roommate this year routinely cranked the heat to 73-75 year-round and I absolutely could not sleep, haha.

  27. Sleepless*

    So, in my job my activity level varies a lot. I spend a little time sitting at a desk, some walking around, and some doing fairly physical work. I couldn’t even settle on one temperature that would make me happy all by myself! Our building trends on the uncomfortably warm side, then occasionally it’s freezing. We have a fan in the largest common area, but it’s loud, and white noise makes me miserable. Ughh…

  28. Tau*

    Suddenly, I am seeing the silver lining of not having A/C in most buildings (as is the case over here). At least the office is bonding through shared suffering.

  29. Hilliary*

    If your area is arid, you can get mini evaporative coolers. Mine is 6.5 inches on each side, and sits on my desk. I love it! But i live in the Mojave desert 90 miles from the hot-spot of the planet, so YMMV.

    1. Close Bracket*

      Oo, what brand is yours? My neighbor had one that he didn’t like, so I’m looking for a better recommendation.

  30. Clementine*

    As a matter of curiosity, for people who have strong reactions to office temperatures in either direction, does it correspond to how you feel when you are in a location with that external temperature? I would absolutely hate an office that was 75+F, which luckily I have not had to deal with, but I am fine with very warm temperatures externally, like in tropical countries or Phoenix or Florida. I can also manage without a coat outside when it’s like 40-45F without difficulty, but working in an office at that temperature would be terrible (and I’m sure it would be for most people).

    1. Mockingbird 2*

      I am heat sensitive and it doesn’t matter if it’s “real” or artificial. I still get heatsick and/or dehydrated very easily.

    2. Liv Jong*

      I am cold no matter what. 82 in the shade with a slight breeze will have me reaching for a another layer.

      Totally unrelated but the Bakken Oil field has temperatures that will go from -40 degrees in the winter to 100 degrees the summer. Thousands of people like my husband have worked outside in both, and you just acclimate each season.

  31. matcha123*

    I miss the freezing office temps of summers in the US. Sitting in a stuffy office with virtually no air circulation where the room temp is about 28C (84F) when outside temps are also in the upper 80s to mid 90s is pure hell.
    If you are cold, you can always put on a sweater. When you are in a humid room and not allowed to use a USB plug fan for “security reasons” or a circulating fan “to save electricity” you really don’t care if some people feel cold!
    I’m a woman, for what it’s worth, and summer heat and humidity take so much out of me.

    1. Miss Pantalones en Fuego*

      What about using a USB fan with one of those backup batteries? That way you are using your own electricity to charge the battery and the fan isn’t plugged in to any of your office equipment.

      1. matcha123*

        That one is OK and I do that sometimes. I think the having to remember to charge it up every night and put it back in my bag in the morning part is my struggle at the moment.

  32. PersephoneUnderground*

    I think a common issue is more temperature distribution and air circulation, which causes uncomfortable cold and hot spots, or the weirdness of being hot but putting on a blanket to shield part of your body from a too-cold air vent pointing right at you. Aside from temp preferences entirely.

    I actually considered suggesting a floor fan to circulate the air better in my last office (set up to not fan anyone directly, maybe even at close to the ceiling height, and on low year-round not just summer) because the building couldn’t ever get everyone comfy in our large open cube farm, even with similar preferences, at the same time. I also am much more comfy at a higher temp if there’s air moving, while in the air is more stagnant I need it colder but am still not really comfy.

  33. Oodles*

    Performance statistics based on temperature are nuts, I hope a bad employer doesn’t read anything about them and think there’s any truth to that. Not only age but country of origin and body composition of each individual changes how they behave in certain heats. I know being from Ireland but living in CA most people’s definition of “cold” is a full 20 degrees F higher than mine. And I knew girls in my college dorm that would shiver in fairly warm weather because they were so slim

  34. anonami*

    Can we all blame the real villains here, terrible HVAC systems that are either inappropriate for the space, poorly maintained, or too old to function correctly? And employers who put people into spaces that were never intended for people to occupy like hallways or supply closets.

  35. Orange Crush*

    The 20-degree Fahrenheit range of preferred / ideal work temperatures is another point against open offices / cube farms. Imagine if everyone living in an apartment building had to decide on a single appropriate room temperature.

  36. uh*

    I wear long underwear under my clothes when it is below 75 . . . not kidding. I am miserably cold a great deal of the time. 75 I can deal with a jacket . . . .

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