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HR Management

Is Temperature Sexism Thawing Your Office Environment?

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As a woman in the working world, you know full well some of the female workplace struggles. While sexism has come on leaps and bounds, there’s simply no denying that we still have a long way to go. Women still struggle to get their voices heard in the boardroom, for instance. More recently, we’re realizing that even office temperatures have a touch of sexism behind them.

Temperature in the office can have a huge impact on everything from employee happiness to productivity. If you want to keep your employees happy and increase productivity, then, you might have fallen foul to the average ‘ideal’ temperature of 71.6 F. There are endless articles arguing why this is best, after all.

This year has seen something of an office temperature turnaround, though, as attention has focused around the fact that these temperatures are based on 1960s standards involving only 40-year-old men. As if that weren’t bad enough, new evidence is coming to the fore that women require higher temperatures than men to stay comfortable. This fact was highlighted further when Sex and the City actor Cynthia Nixon dared to suggest to her male counterpart that they raise the thermostat to 76°F.pexels-photo-735307-140x210  But, this leaves us at something of an impasse. Equality is about meeting everyone’s needs, after all, so raising the temperature to meet your female colleagues’ desires could still seem like sexism. The good news is that there are simpler ways to achieve a new ideal temperature which can’t see you on the wrong side of discrimination laws. And, we’re going to look at them here.

Remember That the Majority Rules

When in doubt, it’s always best to go with the majority. This democratic way of running your office ensures that no one can accuse you of unfair discrimination. Instead of stressing out about this, then, host a vote for the temperature everyone would like to see. Then, turn to radiator manufacturing or air con systems which ensure you can enforce it office-wide. If your workforce primarily consists of women, then temperatures might rise. Equally, if men form the main body of your team, things may not change all that much. The point is that doing your research is a far more reliable option than only considering what middle-aged men in the 60s wanted. And, at least you can ensure that the majority of your workplace can produce their best results this way.

Put the Power Back in Individual Hands

Once you’ve settled on a new norm for your office temperature, keep everyone happy by giving each the power to dictate their own temperature. It’s now not unusual for offices to provide blankets and other warming goodies to keep team members happy. Stock some snuggies in the cupboard for anyone who finds your overall office temp too cold, then. Make sure, also, to keep a supply of fans on-hand to ensure no one overheats and loses their concentration as a result. Then, sit back, and enjoy sexism-free temperature control at long last.

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