We all do crazy things to cope when our office temperature is less than optimal. Here are our favorite, ridiculous hacks. Note: By favorite, we mean sad things people actually have to do to stay comfortable and productive in the workplace without Comfy.
1. Bundle up
Parkas in summer, so in right now. What’s the #1 workplace complaint (after compensation, of course)? You guessed it, the temperature! But don’t worry, if you simply plan ahead and bring five layers to work with you, you can spend time layering and unlayering until you’re finally comfortable...albeit for a hot (pun intended) second. If nothing else, it’s an excuse to show off the latest fashions of every season in a single day.
2. Write passive aggressive notes
Whether you choose to leave a passive aggressive post-it note on the locked thermostat box or on your operations teammate’s desk, the chances of you actually getting a positive response to your requests/demands are slim to none. In fact, it’s a guaranteed way to make your under-resourced operations team feel wholly underappreciated and more than a little bit annoyed. You’re not alone in your frustration, upwards of 40% of workers report dissatisfaction with temperature in their office, despite attempts to address multiple requests and complaints throughout the day. So, before you initiate another cold war, understand that your facilities team is doing the best they can to try and make you comfortable...at least with what they have.
3. Buy all the space heaters and desk fans you can find
Fire hazard anyone? There's always someone at the office who takes a stand against discomfort and proudly/sadly purchases their own personal space heater or desk fan. In addition to safety concerns, space heaters consume a large amount of energy for just one or two people and can cost a pretty penny to operate. For comparison, one space heater can cost the equivalent of 40 fluorescent light bulbs every month. Not to mention the $50 spent out of pocket just to regain feeling in your fingers.
4. Create low-budget, extremely complicated instructions
Well intended, but overly complex signage around office thermostats can leave your co-workers feeling like they’re gaming for a big combo move in Street Fighter II. Leave the programming to the professionals.
5. Receive or send lengthy emails to @all about the thermostat
Your operations team doesn’t want to write it, and you certainly don’t want to read it, but the email gets sent anyway. Check out #coldoffice on Twitter to see a growing collection of @all communications and temperature workarounds.
6. Submit a ticket that no one will ever check
Ah yes, support tickets, everyone’s favorite impersonal tool. Feeling hot in Conference Room 104? No problem, all you have to do is: 1) Remember where and how to access the facilities support ticketing system. 2) Remember your login. 3) Reset your login, because no one remembers their login. 4) Page times out. 5) Re-submit your complaint about temp in Conference Room 104. 6) Lose five minutes of your meeting time submitting a ticket. 7) Suffer the remaining 25 minutes of your 30-minute meeting, because you’re freezing. 8) Wait between 24 hours to never to receive reply. 9) Sigh. Fact: It’s not uncommon for the temperature in an entire building to be locked in between 70 - 72℉. Tickets won’t help.
7. Chug hot water
Hmmm, guaranteed caffeine overdose or bland hot water? We’ve all resorted to one of these options in a last ditch effort to shake the office shivers. The truth is, your hot drink of choice...could actually be making you colder. According to thermal physiology researcher, Ollie Jay, drinking a warm beverage actually causes the body to overcompensate by producing more sweat, resulting in lowered stored body heat. So what do we end up with? Extra trips to the bathroom and a belly full of sadness.
8. Take a lap around the office (or go outside)
When that third cup of coffee isn’t making you feel all warm and fuzzy inside like you’d hoped...one of the last options is go find some temporary relief by taking a lap or wandering outside. And though you’ve probably heard (or convinced yourself) that taking occasional breaks from work can promote productivity, research has shown that taking “microbreaks” unrelated to work may actually be counterproductive. So while you can try to justify those few minutes spent defrosting outside or cooling off in the refrigerated cafeteria as recharging—in reality, you're just wasting valuable working time.
9. Work from home, ‘cause it’s just not worth it
When all else fails, just stay home...at least there you can control the temperature and your comfort. Are we surprised that 80 - 90% of the US workforce reports they want to work from home at least part time? At home you can turn the thermostat to whatever temperature your heart desires. Now, whether you stay productive or work well on your own is a matter of willpower.
The choice is yours. Try all of these ridiculous, time-consuming, argument-inducing strategies...or you could just get Comfy!