A new study found women are likely to perform better at work when it's not freezing cold in the office. On the other hand, researchers also found men work better at lower temperatures.
For the study, close to 500 people were taken in groups to certain rooms to test the temperatures and performance in space. Depending on how well they did, participants were given a prize. This was a way of motivating them to do well. The team found higher temperatures helped women perform well. However, men fared better when the temperatures were low.
"Ordinary variations in room temperature can affect cognitive performance significantly and differently for men and women," researchers stated in a press release. Adding, "Consistent with their preferences for temperature, for both math and verbal tasks, women perform better at higher temperatures while men perform better at lower temperatures."
Uncomfortable temperatures was a huge factor that determined where or not participants performed well. "The increase in female cognitive performance appears to be driven largely by an increase in the number of submitted answers. We interpret this as evidence that the increased performance is driven in part by an increase in effort," researchers of the study stated in a press release. Adding, "Importantly, the increase in female cognitive performance [at higher temperatures] is larger and more precisely estimated than the decrease in male performance."
Researchers hope the findings urge organisations to raise the temperature a little in offices to create a better environment for working women. "Ultimately, our results potentially raise the stakes for the battle of the thermostat, suggesting that it is not just about comfort, but also about cognitive performance and productivity," researchers of the study stated in a press release. Adding, "Our results suggest that in gender-balanced workplaces, temperatures should be set significantly higher than current standards."
This small step can bring a huge change in a positive way. The study's findings were originally published in the journal PLOS ONE.