Here’s a special Evil Skippy Classic. Don’t miss the new bonus letter at the end!
Dear Evil Skippy:
I have been a supervisor for many years and the situation that continues to drive me crazy is the Thermostat War. I frequently get complaints that the temperature is either too low or too high. Is there a generally accepted way to settle on the best office temperature so I can settle this once and for all?
— The Frustrated Boss
Dear Frustrated Boss:
Yes, and it quite scientific and mathematical. The correct temperature is when one-third of your employees say it is too cool, another one-third say it is too warm and the remaining third put on (or take off) sweaters and shut up about it.
— Evil Skippy
This is indeed a perennial issue. In fact, I first posted this letter in 2013. Yep – it’s a classic (or, in other words, it’s a way for me to post without doing much extra work. Efficiency Rocks!)
The Too Hot/Too Cold issue comes up when I do training, too. As different people sweat and shiver simultaneously, I pretend to fiddle with the thermostat but don’t really adjust it, then proceed with my class. I rarely get follow-up complaints (perhaps because I am so very entertaining that no one thinks about the temperature). Please note: if the same person is shivering and sweating at the same time, that means it is flu season and you are probably too late to avoid exposure.
Why did I post this article again? Because of a new fan from the United Kingdom who wrote:
Hello Evil Skippy,
I know that you’re an HR guy, and you’re all about making workplaces happy, so I thought I’d hit you up with a curve ball request.
I wrote this thing for a company blog, it’s basically a guide about the best temperature for offices. You can check it out here (if you don’t want to, that’s also cool) – https://www.turnbull-scott.co.uk/best-temperature-office/
Now, the problem I have is that I kinda said I’d also try and get some people to endorse the article. At the time I was like ‘cool, no big deal’. But now sitting in front of my computer, it’s actually pretty daunting. You’re basically asking people to do something that they don’t have to do. People you’ve never met.
So, to get to the point of my email, I did some Googling and found your article where you talk about the best temperature for an office (this one – http://www.evilskippyatwork.com/?p=1894) and thought it would be kinda awesome to have the thing I wrote referenced there if people want more info about this type of thing. Because apparently, it really is quite a big deal, and the temperature can have a very real impact on productivity.
Now, I don’t have masses to offer you other than the content. However, here are some things I would do if you added my piece into your article:
– high five myself because Evil Skippy has endorsed something I’ve written
– Phone my mother (possibly text)
– Take the rest of the day off (it’s almost home time anyway in the UK)
I’ve attempted to make this email as un-spammy as possible, however feel free to tell me where to go. Also, let me know if there is anything I could do for you.
Sam, Evil Skippy hereby endorses your article so long as you:
- High five yourself (and send photographic or video confirmation);
- PHONE your mother (have her send me a message confirming you did so and thanking me); and
- Take the rest of the day off after you see this and do something that makes the world a happier place.
Thanks for keeping me international. Stay warm or cool or whatever and, if you live near Salisbury, don’t act like a Russian spy.
Readers — how do you handle this issue where you work (the thermostat, not spy wars)?
Evil Skippy and/or Jim are available to speak at your conferences and seminars! For information or to send a question for Evil Skippy to answer, use the “Contact” link on the left sidebar.