Do you shiver every time you enter your office? Do you have to wear layers of shawls and jackets just to survive at work? The argument of whether your office climate actually compares to that of the tundra has been going on all over the world but the debate has snowballed in the United States after Sex and the City actress Cynthia Nixon’s team suggested that room temperatures were “notoriously sexist” in being geared towards the comfort level of most men.
The team’s statements are corroborated by a 2015 study, which states that office buildings can be intrinsically non-energy-efficient in providing comfort to females as the average metabolic rate of men may overestimate the metabolic rate of women by as much as 35%. Temperatures are set based on formulas that aim to optimize employees’ thermal comfort, but the problem is every employee has a different metabolic rate based on factors like size, weight, age, fitness level and the type of work.
However, the standard office temperature is based on the assumption that every employee is a man — to be precise, a 40-year-old man who weighs 70 kgs.
The study also states that the productivity of employees decreases when the office temperature is lowered.
Many tweeted in favour of what Cynthia Nixon’s team pointed out:
We have the argument daily in my office! I hate artificial air, and feel the cold but everyone else was clearly raised in the artic!
— Jo bothwell (JJ) (@jobothwell) August 30, 2018
Oh yes. We had the same problem in our office. The girls in the office were always cold. Lots of arguments about the air conditioning.
— Elke (@elke_becker) August 30, 2018
I hate that this office always so cold. It legit be 80 plus outside and I still bring a jacket to work just for this office temperature
— D. James (@Sleepy_Foolie) August 29, 2018
2- I lived in the Middle East. I used to go to work in jeans, tanks and sandal but have a sweater, fingerless gloves and socks for the office which was 65degress while guys were in shorts, t’s and flip flops. It is a thing. Majority rules and ‘most offices’ have more men.
— Daniela Sztulwark (@Danielaszt) August 28, 2018
My office is a normal temperature for once (instead of the harrowing frozen tundra it usually is) and people are complaining it’s too warm. Will I ever know peace?
— Courtney (@cherms) August 29, 2018
A slight drop in temperature and the air con in the office goes bonkers. It’s warmer outside pic.twitter.com/KavOKJFL3y
— heelsandhealth (@heelsandhealth) August 29, 2018
Though others think that’s not the case, saying that even men feel that office temperatures resemble those of the Arctic:
Many men, myself included, think offices are too cold as well. It’s ri-goddamn-diculous. If 76 is too warm, there’s something wrong with you.
Can an Office Temperature Be ‘Sexist’? Women, and Science, Say So https://t.co/b8zBh9NOde
— Being Flynn (@DonLFlynn) August 29, 2018
I appreciate your explanation. At my current office, it’s the women who want it colder & men complain. The one before that was a mix of genders on both sides of the issue. Temperature tolerances vary across individuals. It’s simply not a good issue to base a claim on.
— Mimsy B (@MimsyWBorogoves) August 28, 2018
76 is way too hot. You can always add layers if you’re cold, but you can only take so many layers off if you’re hot.
— Jack Russell (@jackson_russell) August 29, 2018
We’re getting ridiculous in our attempt to be something we’re not designed to be The SAME! Which is very different from being treated equally.
— Rev. David W Singleton (@DavidWendellSi2) August 29, 2018
The energy consumption of office and residential buildings adds up to 30% of carbon dioxide emissions and human factors contribute to 4/5th of such emissions.