The study called ‘Battle for the thermostat: Gender and the effect of temperature on cognitive performance’ tested the ability of 500 men and women to perform tasks in a variety of environment. The researchers found that women’s brains work better at higher temperatures, while men’s brains work better when cooler, suggesting the aircon temperature at work really is that big of a deal.
The study found that women perform better on maths and verbal tasks in higher temperatures, and their performance is increased much more in higher temperatures than the decrease in male performance. The authors wrote:
“At higher temperatures, women perform better on a math and verbal task while the reverse effect is observed for men. The increase in female performance in response to higher temperature is significantly larger and more precisely estimated than the corresponding decrease in male performance. In contrast to math and verbal tasks, temperature has no impact on a measure of cognitive reflection for either gender. Our findings suggest that gender mixed workplaces may be able to increase productivity by setting the thermostat higher than current standards.”
So for all the ladies out there who work in a cold office, it’s time to stock up on jumpers, scarves and maybe even an under-desk hot water bottle.
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