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You have your own recipe for productivity. You know exactly the cups of coffee, amount of lighting, height of your office chair, and noise level you require to be on your A-game. This varies significantly from person-to-person which can often make the cubicle life hard to cater to everyone. Someone puts the blinds up. Someone else puts them down. Someone turns on some light, background music. Someone else turns it off. In my office, it’s the battle of the thermostat, a battle with no end in sight.
This problem is more apparent now as the seasons progress. We’re at that weird point in the year where you need heat on your commute to work and AC on your way home. Unfortunately, we cannot agree upon that simple transition in the office space. When I arrive to work in the morning, I want the same warmth that I was soaking in in my car. My boss wants a cool, crisp air to keep him alert and focused. Everyone in the office has a preference on either end of the spectrum and that middle compromise temperature just isn’t doing it for anyone.
What’s so wrong with it being a little chilly? Well at a certain temperature, my fingers actually become so cold that I can no longer type as efficiently. This has a significant impact on my productivity. My normal 80 words-per-minute falls to just 50-60 with breaks to physically warm myself up. I always keep a sweater in my office and drink tea to stay warm, but it’s an unnecessary distraction that I’m so over dealing with.
On the contrary, when the temperature is more attune to one that I’m comfortable at, my boss complains of the warmth. While I’m knocking out proposals left and right, he’s experiencing hot flashes. Ultimately, he turns the air back down to 65 degF because, well, he is the boss. Note: it’s not even a question of who’s paying for the heat because that’s our customer’s duty, not ours.
Often, the battle of the thermostat is a divide between males and females. I don’t know what it is about the female body, but it always seems to be a few degrees colder than a male body. It probably has something to do with hormones, but I’m a math-not-a-biology kind of person and don’t care to know the exact reasoning. All I know is that is that all of the females or all of the males in my office complain about the temperature together.
It’s not even November and I’ve already broken out my wool socks and knit sweaters. When it becomes actually cold outside, I’m fully prepared to wear a hat and gloves at my desk. I think I’ve decided that when my boss asks why my proposal isn’t ready by the deadline, I’ll simply state “because all I do is freeze, don’t fire me, please.” .
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