A new study by the USC has come to an interesting conclusion: for women, the colder the temperature, the less productive women tend to be. The study found that women performed better doing mathematics or verbal tasks than men only when the temperature was higher, and the higher the temperature was, the better women did. When temperatures dropped, men obtained better results compared to women (although men tended to perform similarly regardless of temperature).
“It has been documented that women like warmer indoor temperatures than men, but so far the idea has been that it is a matter of personal preference,” said Chang, author of the study. “What we discovered is that it is not only if you feel comfortable or not, but that your performance in the things that matter, in mathematics and in the verbal dimensions is affected by temperature.”
The study analyzed a total of 543 students in Berlin. In each experiment, room temperatures were varied from around 16 degrees Celsius up to 32 degrees Celsius.
“One of the most amazing things we learned is that it’s not about the extremes of temperature,” said Chang. “In a relatively normal temperature range, there is a significant variation in performance.”
The conclusion of the researchers is that the temperature that one sets in the office is much more important than people originally thought, especially in offices where there are both men and women.
“People invest a lot to make sure their workers are comfortable and highly productive,” Chang said. “This study indicates that even if you only care about the money or performance of your workers, you will have to increase the temperature in your office buildings.”
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