Hot or Cold? Your Office Temp has Gender Performance Impact!

There’s a new study out that shows that men and women actually perform at different levels based on the temperature of the environment they are in. Can you guess which gender performs better in hot or cold temperatures?

So, the 27-year married man in me had a guess!

My wife loves to sleep with the bedroom ice-cold! There have been many nights, as the dog and I huddle close sharing body heat, that we didn’t think we would make it through the night. The headline the next day would be, “Woman finally has a peaceful night’s sleep as husband and dog freeze to death in the bed beside her!” I kid! Partially!

So, my initial guess was that women perform better in cold temps. I was completely wrong! From the study:

“The authors found that female students generally performed better on math and verbal tests when the room temperature was at the warmer end of the distribution, submitting more correct responses as well as more responses overall. Conversely, male students generally performed better on these tests at lower temperatures – at the warmer end of the temperature distribution, they submitted fewer responses, as well as fewer correct responses. The improved performance of women in response to higher temperature was larger and more precisely estimated than the corresponding decrease in male performance. Temperature did not appear to impact performance on the logic test for either gender.”

So, turns out women and men are different!

But it does beg the question of how do get to an optimal temperature for our office environment when we have both men and women working together?

I’ve worked in organizations where the facilities folks were a bit crazy when it came to temperature. They had one temp and no matter what that was going to be the temp. You weren’t allowed space heaters, or fans (the claim was energy usage), so you would see people wearing coats or have blankets at their desks. Or see people in tank tops because it was so hot!

The reality is we all have preferred temps that will help us perform better and when we think about the employee experience and the physical environment our employees work in, it’s up to us to figure out how to be help them optimize the temperature that’s right for them! This isn’t someone just being a diva, this is science! We want high performance and workers thriving, then the physical temp they are working in matters.

So, what temp do you perform in? Or have you even noticed? Hit me in the comments.


4 thoughts on “Hot or Cold? Your Office Temp has Gender Performance Impact!

  1. I too prefer to sleep in a cold room but when working I like it a little warmer. There have been many times when travelling to different offices I bring a sweater with me and I see many of my female colleagues bundled up as well.

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