Why Women Are More Productive in Warmer Offices
Their brains may perform better at higher temperatures
It's long been known that men have a slightly higher body temperature than women. As a result, "most office buildings set temperatures based on a decades-old formula that uses the metabolic rates of men," concluded one study from 2015.
But sticking to a temperature that only the men find preferable may be bad for business, according to new research. The study, conducted by researchers from the US and Germany and published in the journal PLOS ONE, found that women perform better on mathematical and verbal tasks when the temperature is higher. The opposite effect was seen for men, but the impact was less noticeable.
The researchers recruited 543 students for the study that was conducted in Berlin, led by Chang and Agne Kajackaite from the WZB Berlin Social Science Center in Germany. They set the room temperatures between 61 and 91 degrees Fahrenheit for various parts of the experiment, and asked the participants to perform three tasks - one mathematical, one verbal, and one called "cognitive reflection," where the intuitive answer was the wrong one.
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