Sixty per cent of survey respondents said their office is often too cold in the summer months, according to BC Hydro. (Air Force photo illustration by Margo Wright)

Air conditioning disputes are causing ‘cold wars’ in B.C. workplaces: report

As more offices turn to using air conditioning, employees are split on the ideal room temperature

Air conditioning preferences in B.C. workplaces often cause tensions to boil over between employees, a BC Hydro report says, and it may have more to do with male and female anatomy than originally thought.

Roughly one-quarter of British Columbians surveyed by BC Hydro said they have either argued with a co-worker over the office temperature or witnessed a disagreement between co-workers, the Crown corporation said in a news release Thursday.

Another two-thirds of office workers said they aren’t allowed to adjust the thermostat themselves, and instead have to ask permission to do so from management.

Sixty per cent of respondents said their office is often too cold in the summer, making it difficult to concentrate on work – a feeling shared twice as much among women than men.

Nearly 60 per cent of women also said they use a blanket or wear layers to deal with chilly offices, while 15 per cent reported using a space heater at their desk to stay warm.

READ MORE: Heat wave could lead to record-breaking electricity use: BC Hydro

BC Hydro said the results suggest that many office temperature-control systems are based on a “decades-old thermal comfort formula” that was designed around the male metabolic rate.

Data collected across the province shows thermostats tend to be set as low as 20 C, which is three to four degrees cooler than what is recommended and can lead to wasted electricity and higher costs, the report said.

“Conflicts between employees over the A/C may seem harmless, but office relationships and productivity can suffer if arguments escalate into a full-blown cold war.”

Commercial buildings should be between 23 C to 26 C in the summer, and air conditioning should be turned off when employees go home for the day. Air conditioning systems should also complement the office layout, which can be tested through balancing air ducts every now and again.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Bamfield Road safety concerns resurface after fatal bus crash

Huu-ay-aht First Nations wants a safe route between Bamfield and Port Alberni

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: Meet the candidates for the Courtenay-Alberni riding

In an effort to inform the Courtenay-Alberni riding constituents, we have supplied… Continue reading

City of Port Alberni offers support after fatal bus crash

Two University of Victoria students killed after crash en route to Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre

Participants double at Parkinson’s Superwalk in Port Alberni

Second annual event also saw an increase in funds raised

Alberni School District considers three name changes

Neill Elementary, Ucluelet Secondary and school district identified for new names

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Scheer makes quick campaign stop in Comox

Conservative leader highlights tax promises early in campaign

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Most Read