The increased use of air conditioning in B.C. workplaces is causing discomfort and fostering a frosty atmosphere in many offices.
A BC Hydro study finds the use of A/C in commercial buildings has increased by almost a third since 2006, and close to one-quarter surveyed say they’ve argued with a fellow employee over the office temperature, or witnessed that type of argument between co-workers.
“Cold War: How many B.C. employees are losing the battle over office A/C” also reveals that close to two-thirds of British Columbians don’t have the ability to adjust the office temperature themselves, and 60% of them find it too cool in the summer making it difficult to concentrate on work.
The study found that women were almost twice as likely as men to say the office temperature makes it difficult to concentrate on work, four times more describe their office as too cold in the summer, and nearly 60% of them are regularly using a blanket or wearing layers to try to stay warm.
“The survey results support other studies that found many office climate control systems are based on a decades-old thermal comfort formula designed to suit the male metabolic rate,” it reads.
BC Hydro is recommending some measures to try to heat up the workplace and cool down tensions including that offices and commercial buildings be cooled to between 23 and 26 degrees Celsius in the summer months when occupied, and the A/C should be turned off when unoccupied.