• Category:
    Small Business Energy Savings
  • Published:
    November 29, 2021
  • Updated:
    February 2, 2022

Solutions for a Cold Office

As winter weather sets in, cold office solutions and discovering how to stay warm in a cold office become more important. Actively monitoring and regulating the temperature in your office during cold months can improve morale and productivity.

Here we provide you with tips on what to do when your office is too cold. We include ways to accommodate employees who are more sensitive to chilly office environments. You won’t find a temperature that suits everyone, but you can provide ways to accommodate everyone.

How cold is too cold for an office?

How cold is too cold? The ideal office temperature is actually warmer than you might think. For years, experts recommended that the best thermostat settings were between 70 and 73 degrees Fahrenheit. More recent research, however, has shown that range to be too cold now that few of us wear a suit and tie to work.

Worker error rates dropped by 3% with each degree of warmth, up to an optimum of 77 degrees. If your office temperature is consistently below this number, it’s likely your office is too chilly for many of your employees. You’ll want to look into what to do when your office is too cold.

Can employees refuse to work in cold conditions?

Uncomfortable office temperatures consistently rank among the top employee office complaints. Very extreme temperatures that affect employee well-being and safety can lead to OSHA filings and lawsuits. These are rare for office environments, however.

Indeed, one person’s comfort zone might feel like a deep freeze to another, so it is impossible to keep everyone happy or establish an agreed-upon standard. Unless there is a severe temperature problem in your office that puts employees in danger, employees do not have a right to refuse to work.

That said, you don’t want employees grumbling, either. Finding out what to do when your office is too cold will reduce unhappiness, enhance morale, and improve productivity.

7 ways to keep warm at work

After you have done all you can do in applying cold office solutions to your space and have done your best to achieve a temperature that is optimal to most people, you may still have employees that feel cold. Here are some suggestions you can share with them on how to stay warm in a cold office.

How to keep warm at work

1. Dress in layers.

Layering your clothes is a great way to adjust to changing office temperatures throughout the day. Start with insulated base layers and warm socks. Add a sweater that you can easily take off as the day warms up. A scarf around the neck also helps keep the warmth in.

2. Invest in a space heater for your office.

When looking at ways to keep warm at work, you might consider heating specific spaces for employees that are not comfortable with the average temperature of your offices. An energy-efficient space heater can provide warmth to individual employees who prefer higher temperatures without affecting your small business energy consumption or forcing higher temperatures on everyone.

3. Use a heated blanket.

Even more energy-efficient than space heaters are heated blankets. Employees can wrap them over their shoulders or around their feet for a customized and cozy work environment. They directly warm themselves instead of trying to heat the air around them. In addition to traditional plug-in models, you can find rechargeable battery-operated blankets that are extra energy efficient.

4. Drink coffee or other warm beverages.

An effective way to raise your body temperature is to drink warm liquids. Buying a coffee maker for your business provides ready warmth to your staff. Many models include a hot water option so you can make tea or soup. Offering nourishing warmth is a good way to show you care and definitely raises morale as it raises temperatures.

5. Wear fingerless gloves while working.

Some people feel cold in their extremities, even when your office temperature is within the range of normal. Your hands may feel cold even if you are wearing a sweater. Fingerless gloves give you the dexterity to type or complete other manual tasks, yet provide warmth where you need it the most.

6. Keep a heating pad at your desk.

Speaking of cold extremities, feet can get as cold–or colder–than your hands. Your office temperature might be comfortable, but a cold and drafty floor can make your feet feel like ice. Keeping a heating pad under your workspace can warm your frozen toes. When your extremities are warm, you tend to feel warmer overall.

7. Do your best to keep cold air out.

No cold office solutions list would be complete without covering ways to keep your office warm to begin with. Keeping cold air out and stopping drafts is the key.

Check your insulation, especially around doors and windows. You might consider adding seasonal vestibules around doors that open directly to the outside to reduce drafts and blasts of cold air blowing. Add office etiquette signs around these doors to remind people not to prop them open and to consider the comfort of others.

Creating a comfortable office environment

Creating a comfortable office environment is key to morale and productivity. While there is no ideal temperature that will please everyone, your teams will get more done, commit fewer errors, and will be happier at work if you put cold office solutions in place and provide ways to keep warm at work.

Now that winter weather is upon us, looking into how to stay warm in a cold office will help keep every member of your team comfortable and happy.

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