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The Heat Is On.

Or is it? A new study shows how your office temperature affects employee productivity.

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This story appears in the July 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Sure, your employees might stare longingly out the window, gazing at a summer sky and wishing they were off sunbathing. But chances are, it's the weather inside the office that's causing your staff more concern. You should be concerned, too, if your assistant is constantly fanning herself or your CFO is dressed in a parka--in the middle of June. A recent study conducted by Alan Hedge, professor of design and environmental analysis at Cornell University, indicates that the temperature of your office is directly related to how your staff is performing.

The study sampled the air every 15 minutes at nine workstations in an office. It also monitored the time the workers used their keyboards and the time they spent correcting their errors. At 68 degrees Fahrenheit, workers typed 54 percent of the time, with a 25 percent error rate; at 77 degrees, the staff typed 100 percent of the time, with a 10 percent error rate. Some companies are starting to acknowledge the problem by installing "personal environment modules," desktop units employees use to control individual settings for air temperature, air flow, radiant heat and lighting.

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