Too hot, too cold? Flexible workspaces can't get it right

October’s +/- 8 degree temperature swings are causing havoc for flexible workspace managers.

Sharing desks and facilities is one thing, but co-workers and workspace managers are at odds in deciding the right office temperature. October is proving a bad month so far with temperature swings of plus and minus 8 degrees with 45% of flexible workers have complained that it’s either too hot or cold.

Monday was hot, Thursday was cold, and Friday hot again. So those who cranked up the heat early in the week are coming into work today to a toasty office on a hot day, and nearly half aren’t happy.

We are all different and a “one size fits all” approach to office temperature does not work. The battle for the thermostat is in the home, the car and now the office.

A flexible working space is great for team collaboration and building a stimulating environment… but if your team are too cold or too hot then you are not satisfying their basic needs so you can expect a very unproductive day.

So, what is comfortable?

Another confusing factor is that what is deemed comfortable for some, may be uncomfortable for others. We have all had experience of a co-worker who is always cold.

A survey by found 45% of co-workers in flexible workspaces have complained about the temperature of the office. The survey of 450 flexible space users found 70% of workers have been unhappy with temperature, a third of people argue with colleagues about the issue every month, one in eight have even admitted to secretly plotting to adjust the thermostat!

Providing a “reasonable” temperature

When office units are divided up it is often hard to control the temperature for each office when they were not intended to be used that way. That combined with the personal side of temperature in a shared environment can be harder to control that employers think.

Jonathan Ratcliffe from says “Striking a balance is a hard task for open co-working offices because temperature is a very personal thing, and often a shared office is not a personal space. Office managers need to be aware of the physical intricacies of a particular building and plan ahead”.

Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 only stipulate that indoor workspaces provide a “reasonable” temperature – so the battle continues.

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Posted by Jonathan Ratcliffe, Friday 4th October 2019

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