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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. Butchances are, it's the weather inside the officethat's causing your staff more concern. You should beconcerned, too, if your assistant is constantly fanning herself oryour CFO is dressed in a parka--in the middle of June. A recentstudy conducted by Alan Hedge, professor of design andenvironmental analysis at Cornell University, indicates that thetemperature of your office is directly related to how your staff isperforming.

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

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