The exact temperature to set your office thermostat to be the most productive

Takeaway: Keep your office between 70-72ºF (21-22ºC) to be the most productive.

Estimated Reading Time: 52 seconds.

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Summer can be harsh on your productivity. A recent survey1 found that during the summer, workplace productivity drops 20%, attendance drops 18%, project turnaround times increase 13%, and people are 45% more distracted.2

The temperature of your office has a huge impact on your productivity. So what’s the exact best temperature to set your office thermostat to? Here’s what the research shows:

  • 70-72ºF (21-22ºC) is the temperature range that will make you the most productive.
  • Any temperature above 73º decreases your productivity. At 86º and above, your productivity drops to about 90% of what it was before, a 10% decrease.
  • Any temperature below 68º also decreases your productivity. Lower temperatures increase the amount of errors you make, and they also increase your chances of getting sick.

perftempSource. (Made a couple of my own modifications to the chart.)

Another tip used by a couple of people I’ve worked with: If you have a lot of meetings or people like to stop by your office to chat quite a bit, lower the temperature of your office and put on a sweater. Your visitors will get cold faster, and your meetings will speed up considerably.


  1. Source: http://officepulse.captivate.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Captivate-Summer-Hours-Release-Final.pdf 

  2. Note: Next week is “Focus Week” on A Year of Productivity – an entire week with posts dedicated to improving your focus. 

  • I like the last tip! Great idea. It was 3ºC when I woke up this morning, sure isn’t easy being productive at that temperature…

    • Chris

      Here too! Going up to 31 this afternoon, and I don’t have AC at home. It’ll be cool to see how that impacts my productivity this summer. Whereabouts are you?

  • Savannah Williamson

    Thank-you for your tips!

  • Savannah Williamson

    Thank-you for your tips!

  • cougarpanther

    The damn women in this office keep cranking it up to 75 degrees. I can’t handle it anymore. Wear a f*cking sweater!

  • cougarpanther

    The damn women in this office keep cranking it up to 75 degrees. I can’t handle it anymore. Wear a f*cking sweater!

    • Brian

      lose weight.

      • Alexandru

        How is that even a comparison? Go and educate yourself fool!

  • Bobby Bronson

    ITS 69 IN MY OFFICE,. I CANT EVEN THINK SOMETIME IM SO FCK COLD.

  • Bobby Bronson

    ITS 69 IN MY OFFICE,. I CANT EVEN THINK SOMETIME IM SO FCK COLD.

  • Peter

    I find it hard to believe that working in an office at 35 C (95 F) will only decrease your productivity by less than 20%.

  • Megosaur

    Your source article is about programs like summer/flex time and telecommuting with nothing about temp in the 3 pages. I’d like to see the methodology.

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