The exact temperature to set your office thermostat to be the most productive

by | May 29, 2013 | Energy

Takeaway: Keep your office between 70-72ºF (21-22ºC) to be the most productive.

Estimated Reading Time: 52 seconds.

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Summer can be harsh on your productivity. A recent survey1 found that during the summer, workplace productivity drops 20%, attendance drops 18%, project turnaround times increase 13%, and people are 45% more distracted.2

The temperature of your office has a huge impact on your productivity. So what’s the exact best temperature to set your office thermostat to? Here’s what the research shows:

  • 70-72ºF (21-22ºC) is the temperature range that will make you the most productive.
  • Any temperature above 73º decreases your productivity. At 86º and above, your productivity drops to about 90% of what it was before, a 10% decrease.
  • Any temperature below 68º also decreases your productivity. Lower temperatures increase the amount of errors you make, and they also increase your chances of getting sick.

perftempSource. (Made a couple of my own modifications to the chart.)

Another tip used by a couple of people I’ve worked with: If you have a lot of meetings or people like to stop by your office to chat quite a bit, lower the temperature of your office and put on a sweater. Your visitors will get cold faster, and your meetings will speed up considerably.


  1. Source: http://officepulse.captivate.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Captivate-Summer-Hours-Release-Final.pdf 

  2. Note: Next week is “Focus Week” on A Year of Productivity – an entire week with posts dedicated to improving your focus. 

Written by Chris Bailey

Chris Bailey has written hundreds of articles on the subject of productivity and is the author of two books: Hyperfocus and The Productivity Project. His books have been published in 27 languages. Chris writes about productivity on this site and speaks to organizations around the globe on how they can become more productive without hating the process.

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