These days, it is not at all unusual to find people who routinely work from home. Whereas a traditional office setting places workers at the mercy of the thermostat controls, remote work allows employees to perform their duties from the comfort of their own homes. There’s plenty of articles on heating and cooling that offer advice, but it’s still sometimes unclear how we should be optimizing our HVAC settings for maximum efficiency.
Working from home has opened up a whole new world for many people. In addition to being able to set up your own workstation, it allows parents to better accommodate their household needs and eliminates the need to commute to an office. However, if you are finding that you sometimes have trouble with productivity and can’t account for it elsewhere, you might want to consider how your home’s temperature affects your work pace.
Though the ideal room temperature for you might not be the same as for someone else, most people find that a temperature falling between 72 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit is perfect for keeping them on their toes with their workload. While this might be optimal for getting our work done, it might not suit the preferences of everyone else in our household, putting you back into that same position where you had no control over the thermostat in a traditional work setting.
So, how do you accommodate your desire for an ideal work temperature without forcing everyone else in your household to live by your thermostat rules?
Ideal Productivity Temperature
Maintaining the ideal temperature in your work area trains your body to recognize that it is time for work to be done. You can achieve this by picking a temperature that is comfortable for you and then not changing it. By doing so, your mind and body accept that you intend for them to get to work when you sit down in the workspace you have set up for yourself.
By maintaining your ideal temperature, you are putting yourself in an environment that you find comfortable so you can focus on things other than any discomfort created by a room that is too cold or one that is unbearably warm. By setting this temperature, you can just take a seat and get down to business without giving it another thought or having to stop and adjust a thermostat to get comfortable.
You won’t find many people that will disagree that they are far more alert and able to focus when the temperature is slightly cooler. If the temperature is warmer, it can make you sleepy and unable to excel at the tasks at hand and if it is too warm, you’re not likely to think of anything else but your discomfort. 72 degrees is usually a good place to start for most people. Try it out and then adjust it up or down depending on personal preference. You will quickly find that sweet spot that enables you to do your best work.
Unless you live alone, you may not be the sole person living under the temperatures you have chosen for your workspace. You may be forced to make compromises or adjustments that will provide you with your highest productivity while also allowing anyone else inhabiting your space a certain level of comfort, as well.
One thing you can do to overcome any gaps in your temperature needs and those of other members of the household is to schedule your work times for when they aren’t present, if possible. If you have a husband, partner, or roommates that work outside the home, you can set the temperature as you like while they are away and do your work in comfort.
A programmable thermostat is ideal for this situation. You can set the temperature to change to your specifications shortly before the departure or arrival of other inhabitants so that the correct temperature is achieved by the time you intend to begin or finish working. This takes the entire problem out of your hands and lets the system do the work for you.
Without any instances of forgetting to change the temperature before you work or after you finish, you will also maintain energy efficiency without giving up any comfort or productive time. By setting schedules both for temperature adjustments and your workload based on when you are alone in the house, you’ll be able to sail through tasks and have enough quiet time to do so.
If you are unable to adjust in this way because one or more members of your household are present while you are trying to work, you can consider other alternatives. By setting up a small space for yourself where you can control the temperature, such as a home office, you can make use of a fan or a heater to adjust the temperature to your liking.
Ceiling fans, portable fans, or even swamp coolers are fantastic ways to cool things down if your space is too warm. Even a small desk fan that provides cool air and brings the temperature down slightly might be all you need. Plus, fans keep the air moving around you so you don’t feel sweltered or stagnant.
In a room that is too cold, you might opt for a small space heater that warms it up enough to give you the comfort you desire. While this might not be the most energy-efficient option, it is certainly a solution if you are looking to maintain a temperature in a single area where you can get your work done effectively and comfortably.
Either option will achieve the desired results without impacting the needs of other members of your household.
The Right Temperature
In setting the perfect temperature in which to do your work, you must ask yourself how accurately your thermostat setting reflects the temperature in your home. If you and your neighbor both set your thermostat for 72 degrees Fahrenheit, there is no guarantee that other factors in the home don’t affect the actual temperature achieved and maintained.
While using the right setting for your HVAC thermostat is important for productivity, you should also make sure your HVAC system is being properly serviced and maintained. Any measures that need to be taken to reduce air leaks or other issues that prevent energy-efficient operations of your system should be addressed. It does no good to set your thermostat to the perfect temperature if you have leaks in your air ducts, a blocked register in your office, or draughts that interfere with your comfort. Finding and eliminating any issues that might cause temperature fluctuations will make a difference.