New study reveals women work better than men in warm offices

24 May 2019, 10:29 | Updated: 24 May 2019, 10:44

Scientists have revealed women are more comfortable in warmer offices
Scientists have revealed women are more comfortable in warmer offices. Picture: Getty Images
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

Maybe it's time for employers to start turning the heating up?

It turns out you might have a point when complaining about the air conditioning at work, because scientists have now claimed women actually work better in warm offices.

Men, on the other hand, are thought to be more productive when it’s colder inside, according to a study published in the journal PLOS One.

The University of Southern California and the WZB Berlin Social Science Centre asked 543 students in Berlin to take various different tests in maths, verbal and cognitive reflection while steadily raising the temperature of the room.

Each session varied from 61 degrees Fahrenheit to 91 degrees, and as the heat increased, women's performance seemingly did as well.

Women are more productive in warmer offices, a study shows
Women are more productive in warmer offices, a study shows. Picture: Getty

The females’ test scores were noticeably lower when the room was set below 70 degrees, but they got almost 9 percent more right when the temperature rose by 9F.

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Whereas men solved 3 percent less tests correctly when the temperature rose by the same amount.

Although men performed better at lower temperatures, the difference in their results was less drastic than women's across the different temperatures.

The study’s author, Tom Chang, associate professor of finance and business economics at the University of Southern California, said: “What we found is it’s not just whether you feel comfortable or not, but that your performance is affected by temperature.”

Experts have said that people tend to make more effort when they are not distracted by temperature.

Speaking to USC News, Professor Chang said: “One of the most surprising things we learned is this isn’t about the extremes of temperature. Even if you go from 60 to 75F (15.5 to 24C), which is a relatively normal temperature range, you still see a meaningful variation in performance.”

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From the study, researchers came to the conclusion that employers should consider raising room temperatures when there’s a mix of female and male employees.

Chang added: “People invest a lot in making sure their workers are comfortable and highly productive.”

“This study is saying, even if you care only about money or the performance of your workers, you may want to crank up the temperature in your office buildings.”

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