How to Handle Being the Manager of Your Office’s Thermostat

Control of the office thermostat is often disputed turf. When it comes to the right temperature setting, personal preferences as well as actual physical requirements often vary among assorted co-workers randomly assembled in a typical work environment. This can make it difficult to keep everyone comfortable with a single thermostat setting.

If you’re assigned the dubious distinction of managing the office thermostat, here are some factors to help you keep most of your co-workers content and comfortable … most of the time.

Keep the Temperature Neutral 

In this case, a “neutral” office thermostat setting is simply one that is acceptable for the majority of those occupying the space. Maintaining a temperature based on majority preference establishes an expectation of a certain consistent comfort level. Continuously adjusting and readjusting the office thermostat setting, conversely, tends to make many people either unacceptably warm or too chilly at any given time — eventually pleasing nobody.

Two official standards may be referenced to choose a neutral temperature:

  • The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) that sets standards for HVAC components recommends an indoor temperature of 76 degrees during the summer and 72 degrees in the winter.
  • The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) doesn’t take a stand on a specific work-thermostat setting, instead suggesting a temperature range between 68 and 76 degrees.

Personalized Heating and Cooling

Because “neutral” doesn’t mean there’s an ideal temperature that’s a perfect fit for everyone, employers may encourage employees with particular needs or sensitivities to alter their work wardrobe accordingly. Also, the new generation of “mini” ceramic space heaters and desktop fans can be utilized to tweak comfort control in a very limited area (such as someone’s cube). These devices should include vital safety features such as tip-over switches to automatically shut down the unit if it falls over and internal timer settings that allow the unit to run only during preset daily hours.

The professionals at Paitson Bros. have more information about successfully managing the office thermostat. We’ve been keeping commercial work environments comfortably heated and cooled since 1922.

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