For years, women have fought for equality in the workplace. Women demand equal pay for equal work, respect, and recognition for a job well done. But could it be that there is one aspect of the office in which women don’t want equality? Since time immemorial men and women seem to have a different definition of comfortable temperature. While men seem to love the blast of the air conditioner in the office, women opt to bundle in layers against the chill. Could there be a science behind this insanity? Here are what some recent findings say.
Many may say that office favoritism is based on an antiquated system but is the office temperature based on one as well. According to science, the office AC may be more suited towards temperatures compatible with the male body, due to a formula over 50 years old.
According to a 2016 study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, temperatures in office buildings are adjusted according to a formula originating in the 1960’s based on the resting metabolic rate of a 40 -year- old 154p pound man. Times may have changed, but temperature controls have not. Now, more than 50 years later, women are wrapping themselves in sweaters and blankets to be able to sit at their desks without shivering. The study concludes that females prefer a temperature of 77 degrees in the home and office, while men go for a cool 71.6.
Dr. Devi Nampiaparampil of NYU School of Medicine weighs in on the findings. “Women tend to have lower basal metabolic rates, so they tend to burn off energy a lot slower. They actually give off less heat than men, so they tend to be colder.”
Of course, temperature settings may not be complete to blame. “Women tend to wear skirts,” says Nampiaparampil, “so maybe they have their legs kind of bare and cold and their arms might be out. Mane wears more layers. They tend to wear jackets or suits. You add all these things together, then it’s more likely that the difference between men and women is going to be more pronounced.
But what about productivity levels? Apparently, the lower temperature is not doing anything to help get work done. A study in the New York Times shows people make more mistakes and get less accomplished when the temperature is between 68 and 72 degrees as compared to when it’s between 74 and 76, plus it saves on power bills. The US Department of Energy finds raising the temperature from 72 to 77 degrees can save as much as eleven percent of power. and every degree above 78 saves two percent, while each degree below 78 will add another six percent.
So it seems the ladies win. Or so they? What do you think? Is there some truth in all of this, and if so, what can be done? Will ladies ever get their equality? Let us know!