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Hot and bothered – office wars over temperature at work

Suzanne Waddell

Nearly half of office workers (47 percent) cited differences over the office temperature as the aspect of their working environment that causes the most frustration in the workplace, according to a survey of 1,371 UK adults in full or part time employment by Emo Oil.

Fifty seven percent consider their office too hot, whilst 43 percent state the opposite that the office temperature is in fact far too cold for working conditions. 63 percent state that the temperature affects their productivity in the working day. And as many as 1 in 6 (17 percent), even admitted to having asked their manager to work from home, due to being unhappy with the temperature in their working environment. 32 percent of respondents revealed that the office temperature even leads to regular arguments among colleagues in their place of work.

More than 27 percent of employees said they bring personal items into the office, such as fans, hot water bottles and blankets. Suzanne Waddell, marketing manager at Emo Oil, said: “It’s surprising to see that the office temperature is such a point of contention in UK workplaces. “It seems here in the UK, we just can’t agree on acceptable temperatures, so much so that it is leading to dips in productivity and rows amongst colleagues at work. We recommend an impartial member of staff – such as someone in facilities – regularly reviews the office temperature according to the outside temperature. According to the survey, those working in information and communications had some of the hottest offices in the UK (86 percent), with those working in facilities management having the coldest offices (15 percent).

Top Five Sectors with the Hottest Office Temperature

1. Information and communications – 86 percent
2. Marketing – 82 percent
3. Professional service (law, accountancy) – 78 percent
4. Education – 73 percent
5. Creative and photographic – 71 percent

Top Five Sectors with the Coldest Office Temperature

1. Retail – 27 percent
2. Healthcare – 25 percent
3. Construction – 19  percent
4. Oil and Utilities – 17 percent
5. Facilities Management – 15 percent

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