For an Ergonomic Workplace, Crank up the Heat

You finally found the perfect ergonomic setup for your workspace, and nothing can stop you now! But wait…you still feel tired, fatigued, uncomfortable and distracted. The problem could be the temperature of your office.

A study of the effects of indoor environmental quality conducted by Alan Hedge of the Cornell Human Factors and Ergonomics Research Group showed that factors such as office temperature, noise, lighting, air quality and vibrations can have a significant impact on productivity.

In the study, which was conducted at Insurance Office of America’s headquarters in Orlando, Fla., each of nine workstations was equipped with a miniature personal environment-sensor for sampling air temperature every 15 minutes. The researchers recorded the amount of time that employees keyboarded and the amount of time they spent making error corrections. Hedge used a new research approach employing software that can synchronize a specific indoor environmental variable, in this case temperature, with productivity.

The study found that when office temperature was increased from 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit, typing errors fell by 44 percent and typing output jumped 150 percent.

“The results of our study also suggest raising the temperature to a more comfortable thermal zone saves employers about $2 per worker, per hour,” said Alan Hedge.

60 degrees in this Miami office

Info from “Warmer Offices Boost Productivity”