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What's Up With Your Chilly Office?

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What's Up With Your Chilly Office?

If you're routinely reaching for a sweater at work, odds are good the thermostat was set by a man. The typical American office averages a cool 72 degrees, a temperature more comfortable for suit-clad fellas than blouse-wearing women. "A button-down shirt and tie make you 2 degrees warmer—and that doesn't include the jacket, lace-up shoes, and socks, which women typically don't wear," explains Alan Hedge, a Cornell University ergonomics professor who studies workplace productivity.

If your boss is reluctant to crank up the heat, tell him a toasty workplace may actually bolster job performance. In a monthlong study of office temperatures conducted by Hedge, women made 44 percent fewer typos and increased their words-per-minute by 150 percent when the thermostat was raised to 77 degrees. If that fails to persuade him, show up for your next meeting in a North Face puffer and woolen mittens. He'll get the point.
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