Atlantic: Frigid Offices Might Be Killing Women’s Productivity

Office workers of ERA, what's your experience?

  • I'm a woman and typically feel office temps are chilly.

    Votes: 47 8.9%
  • I'm a woman and typically feel office temps are just right.

    Votes: 4 0.8%
  • I'm a woman and typically feel office temps are overly warm.

    Votes: 6 1.1%
  • I'm a man and typically feel office temps are chilly.

    Votes: 174 33.1%
  • I'm a man and typically feel office temps are just right.

    Votes: 110 20.9%
  • I'm a man and typically feel office temps are overly warm.

    Votes: 173 32.9%
  • Other (please share)

    Votes: 12 2.3%

  • Total voters
    526

Green

Member
Oct 27, 2017
857
Many women I see around my offices have space heaters under their desks. Often right beside their computers. Drives me nuts (IT person). I have never seen a guy with one, probably due to males having a higher performing circulatory system vs women (a guess) as well as male dress codes requiring all skin except hands and face to not be visible.
 
OP
OP
lake

lake

Member
Oct 27, 2017
852
70F is way too fucking cold.

Putting on a sweater doesn't do anything, because

1. My fingers are still icicles
2. AC / cold air gives me a fucking migraine - until my office lets me wear a beanie or burqa, I'm still totally miserable... and not in a, oh it's kinda warm way, but in a, oh hey there's a fucking nail going through my skull way
3. People need to realize we use way too much AC in the US
4. Don't any of y'all give a fuck about climate change?

I honestly don't get the fascination so many Americans have with air conditioning.
I'm with ya on 1, 3 and 4 (and sorry to hear about the migraines).
 

Dr. Zoidberg

Member
Oct 25, 2017
984
Decapod 10
Many of the women in my office have heaters under their desks.
This is the way it is at our place. I would hate to see the electric bill. But I really don't know the solution, either. Can't make both parties happy and being hot/sweaty leads to other unpleasant side-effects such as smells, so I tend to think cool is better than warm for that reason alone.
 

Bear

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,733
My office was 79 degrees during the winter, so kind of suck it up and put on a sweater or work from home.

Now it's at 73 degrees, which some people say is too cold and those people are nuts.
 

Cas

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
3,502
Yep. This is true. I'm a woman and I'm almost always cold. My husband teases me about it. Even during the height of summer I bring sweaters with me to movie theaters and restaurants. When I had an office job I always had jackets.

Solution: women wear the suits and men start wearing the skirts 😊
 

mute

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,512
Man but office is always chilly. I bring a hoodie to wear at work year round.
 

Eusis

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,528
Umm, trans woman here, and I still generally prefer a good chill and seem to more often feel fine when other women are complaining of the cold. But most of my ancestry came from cooler climates and I’m in SoCal, and would still have a larger/bulkier frame.
 

jph139

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,441
Massachusetts
I always wear a sweatshirt jacket at work, even in the summer. The only other people I see doing it are the little old ladies so I assume I'm on that end of the spectrum.

I'm a relatively thin dude, which is probably a big part of it. Not much meat on my extremities.
 

Aztechnology

Community Resettler
Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
7,598
Yep. This is true. I'm a woman and I'm almost always cold. My husband teases me about it. Even during the height of summer I bring sweaters with me to movie theaters and restaurants. When I had an office job I always had jackets.

Solution: women wear the suits and men start wearing the skirts 😊
Right on lol
 

Parch

Member
Nov 6, 2017
3,092
This is why I have a space heater at my desk.
This is why I brought a fan for my desk.

Everywhere I've worked it's been too hot for me because the women wanted it that way. Guys can't walk around in their underwear but women can put on a sweater.
Same thing at home. Fighting over the thermostat setting is never ending.
 

sgtnosboss

Member
Nov 9, 2017
3,011
IL
freeze out the building. I love the cold. anything above 68-70 and im going to start sweating profusely doing nothing. So take it or leave it? lol Performance or a building smelling like BO.
 

smurfx

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,689
i overheat easily so the colder the better. i've done work in big fridges and it's comfy.
 

OgTheEnigma

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,322
Liverpool
Women have an average skin surface are of 1.6m^2, compared to 1.9m^2 for men, so thermodynamics is likely to play a big role in preferred room temperature.
 

sphagnum

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,352
I'm a man and I have never in my life been in an office that felt cold. They are always universally too warm and I sweat bullets the minute I step in.

If I owned the place I'd keep it at 65 degrees.
 

Vilam

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,656
Wear a sweater. I didn't get an office job to feel uncomfortably warm all day.
 

Figgles

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,039
I can handle a pretty wide range of temperatures... women need it way too hot. You walk in and the vent is blasting heat at you, but the women will still complain it’s cold... get a sweater. You can add more layers. I can’t take any more away.
 

Dyle

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
8,729
Wisconsin
I admit I'll never understand how one of my female coworkers still complains about it being cold now in May, when it's about 75 in the office while wearing a jacket, while in winter we can barely maintain 60 in the office. They're such completely different levels of cold that it's baffling to me that she complains about it as much now as in the depths of winter.

But that's part of the fun of working in a historic building I suppose
 

Red Liquorice

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,507
UK
Yep. This is true. I'm a woman and I'm almost always cold. My husband teases me about it. Even during the height of summer I bring sweaters with me to movie theaters and restaurants. When I had an office job I always had jackets.

Solution: women wear the suits and men start wearing the skirts 😊
I'd be down for this, I always thought it made more sense for men to wear skirts any way! I'm a bloke and the slightest increase in termperature gives me migraines, tunnel vision, brain fog. The Summer is only beginning here and I've already had enough. Middle of December, windows open, hands like ice, that's when I've got the most clarity and am happy, and productive.
 

Menelaus

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
3,682
Women can control the thermostat in the office the day men can have bare legs in a professional office setting.

Until then, pants > your complaints, ladies! You can always put on more clothes, but you can't always take off enough.
 

tarby

Member
Oct 25, 2017
15
This is why I brought a fan for my desk.

Everywhere I've worked it's been too hot for me because the women wanted it that way. Guys can't walk around in their underwear but women can put on a sweater.
Same thing at home. Fighting over the thermostat setting is never ending.
It's actually pretty funny… my office mate has a fan pointed at him at his desk. So we've both got extra appliances going all day because the set temperature doesn't feel good to either of us.
 

smug chocobo

Member
Aug 30, 2018
46
It's way too cold in my office and nobody can apparently get to the root of it. Everybody's cold. Better than working in an uninsulated cinderblock "office" that was a former science lab though, like my last job. I wish there was the possibility of being too warm at work for once.
 
Oct 27, 2017
5,463
Women have an average skin surface are of 1.6m^2, compared to 1.9m^2 for men, so thermodynamics is likely to play a big role in preferred room temperature.
Uh, ok, but that goes in the wrong direction. Heat radiated (i.e. lost) by a body is typically proportional to the surface area of a body, if that's all it was, men should prefer it warmer. Obviously more to it than that.

The day it becomes socially acceptable for me to wear shorts in an office like women can wear a far wider range of clothes than pretty much a suit and not much variation is the day I might yield on the thermostat being too low for others.
 

Mortemis

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
2,649
I'm a man, and it's 75 outside today and I'm walking around in a jacket. Just don't really get hot.

Our office is usually hovering around 74-76 indoors, mostly because one of the older women in the office set up the thermostat. I'm cool with it, but sometimes when the temp is high I need to step outside for some fresh air because it gets too stuffy.
 

Allietraa

Member
Mar 13, 2019
230
Women can control the thermostat in the office the day men can have bare legs in a professional office setting.

Until then, pants > your complaints, ladies! You can always put on more clothes, but you can't always take off enough.
It's silly. Women (usually) aren't the ones making you hide your legs. And I'd bet most women would be all for men being allowed to wear shorts if it meant they didn't have to freeze at work all day lol.
 

Spaltazar

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,747
if i had to choose between too warm and too cold i would pick too cold. i mean at some point you would stop feeling anything. i rather freeze my ass than catch a fire
 
News: gender-related standards being considered by regulators

Dot-N-Run

Member
Oct 27, 2017
297
Good news regarding this issue, just over a week ago roughly 50 standards bodies signed a Declaration on Gender Responsive Standards and Standards Development.

Standard values used to set heating and air conditioning in offices have been found to overestimate female metabolic rate by as much as 35%, meaning that current offices are on average five degrees Celsius too cold for women.
By signing the Declaration, developed at UNECE, standards bodies pledge to create and implement gender action plans. The objective is to support more gender-balanced and inclusive standards development processes, and to strengthen the gender-responsiveness of standards themselves, including by conducting gender-based analysis for the development or revision of all standards.
 
Oct 28, 2017
7,574
The heater is on under the desk for more than half of the women I've worked with over the years.

Never seen or worked with a guy who has had a heater under their desk.
 

Apath

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,110
I am typically cold in the office, but I also recognize that it's a lot easier to warm up than cool down. I keep a sweatshirt in my cabinet next to my desk and my office provides space heaters, so I keep one under my desk.

On the flip side, I have a co-worker who is always hot and has two fans running 24/7. He's still warm. Our developers were able to get an actual AC unit in their quad space, but I don't talk to them enough to know how that is working out.
 

Zulith

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,383
West Coast, USA
I'm male, but I also like things to be on the warmer side. I think there is this notion in schools and workplaces that having the room just ever so slightly too cool for comfort keeps people alert. I remember several teachers in particular mentioning this. I guess some people have a tenancy to want to doze off if it's too comfortable.
 

Prax

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,159
Maybe because women have less iron running in their systems (it helps regulate temperate among other things!).

I actually get pretty cold when I am running more anemic (thanks, heavy menstruations!)
 

The Archon

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
1,467
In Puerto Rico people tend to like office temperatures because it’s basically summer all year long here.
 

Nepenthe

When the music hits, you feel no pain.
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
6,122
Worked at Walgreens. It was cold.

Work at a smaller compounding pharmacy. It's still cold.

I bring a jacket everywhere I go.
 

aevanhoe

Member
Aug 28, 2018
1,205
It's far easier on a personnel level to have a chilly office because putting on a sweater is much easier than taking off an article of clothing due to heat.
This. While I symphatise with anyone (it’s not just women) who is cold when the AC is on in the summer, I just can’t work good when I’m hot and I can’t wear less clothing when I get to t-shirt level. I would have no problem with wearing an extra layer or two if I was cold.

And yet, despite this, I feel like “I’m cold” always takes precedence to “I’m too warm”, regardless of gender.
 

JaseC64

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,338
Strong Island NY
Dude here, I sympathize with my female coworkers because I'm usually freezing my ass off in the office while other men are totally fine with the temperature.
This is me. I wear a sweater in the office, I don't care you think I'm weird.

If I'm freezing, I feel very uncomfortable and feel I can't focus on my job. Shit sucks since its every day episode.

Last job, sometimes even during winter they had the temp low. Fuck freezing inside and out.
 

Siggy-P

Avenger
Mar 18, 2018
5,977
My work has a lot of heaters. But I also live in England so there's heaters on all the time. In general I'd rather be hot than cold though.

Also, slightly off topic but... Judging from the poll only 10% of people here are women?
 

rras1994

Member
Nov 4, 2017
2,999
Guys in thread who suggest putting on a sweater - do you think we haven't thought of that?????? *glares at them while under muitiple layers and coats*
 

Irnbru

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
1,389
Seattle
Women can control the thermostat in the office the day men can have bare legs in a professional office setting.

Until then, pants > your complaints, ladies! You can always put on more clothes, but you can't always take off enough.
We can wear shorts at my office, sucks to be you. But mostly because this complain is stupid af. Buy better breathing pants ya philistine.