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Prevent temperature conflicts

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in Business Etiquette,Workplace Communication

Surprisingly, one of the biggest battles you’ll face in the workplace involves disagreements over room temperature. According to a CareerBuilder study, a full 20% of employees have argued with a co-worker about the office temperature.

Employee discomfort has ramifications: 53% said working in an office that is too cold hurt their productivity and 71% said a too-warm work environment did the same.

With summer beginning, you can expect the battle of the thermostat to heat up. Take these steps to minimize the problem:

Evaluate your space. Are windows properly sealed, do AC units cool the entire building, do some vents push out more air than others, and so on? Work with your HR department to fix any problems.

Move workstations if possible. Chronically cold employees who sit under vents could switch work areas with employees who consistently complain about the heat. If they are unwilling to make the switch, explain that you don’t want to hear further complaints about the temperature—because they rejected a solution.

Encourage employees to agree on a setting. Over the course of a week or so, tweak the temperature either up or down until you find a setting everyone can live with. If one or two people continue to complain, offer other suggestions, such as bringing in a sweater or desk fan.

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