If you work in an office building, chances are you’re cold most of time.
It’s not your imagination — the modern luxury of air conditioning has been taken to ridiculous extremes.
Around the world, from the US to Australia to the Middle East, people are suffering through frigid work days at the hand of over air-conditioned offices, whether or not the climate calls for it.
You’d think enough complaints would get building managers noticing. But as Richard de Dear, director of the Indoor Environmental Quality Laboratory at the University of Sydney, Australia, recently told The New York Times, reputation overshadows rationality.
“Being able to make people feel cold in the summer is a sign of power and prestige,” he said.
Customer and employee comfort is irrelevant, de Dear says.
Many of the world’s largest corporations specify in their lease agreements to keep the indoor climate well below standard room temperature — for the simple reason that they want people to know they can.
Not that any of that showboating necessarily makes people happier or more productive.
According to some research, working in a colder climate can decrease work performance in certain tasks.