Too hot or too cold? Do you really want to give people control of the thermostat?

We’ve all been in the office when someone says it’s too hot to hear others say no, it’s too cold. Each of us perceive temperature differently and one persons comfortable is another’s uncomfortable. There is a great article in the #Regus newsletter this month where they dive into this issue, with advice from a researcher that employees feel empowered and more satisfied if they can control the dial. Having thought about that and the individual perceptions we have of temperature, it seems likely to me that giving control of the dial might lead to as many problems as it solves.

Perhaps the challenge is that we have an “one size fits all” approach to heating or cooling our offices. A single centralised system that might be segmented in bigger or smaller zones, but still doesn’t remove the need for the raft of personal heating and cooling devices that are the clues that our office systems don’t work well enough. Perhaps we need to think at a more granular level.


What if I had the same level of control of my personal climate that I have in the drivers seat of my car? If I could set the temperature, the speed of air flow, the level of seat heating and the window position. I get to set what’s right for me. The best bit, however, is that my passenger can also choose - to be warmer or cooler than me within that enclosed cabin environment. Surely if it can work in a car, we can find a way to make it work in the office? Desks with heating elements, fans and digital climate controls. Now wouldn’t that boost productivity?

What do you think?

Photo by Timothy Dykes on Unsplash