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Why Are Offices Always Too Cold For Women? A New Study Gave The Answer

Why Are Offices Always Too Cold For Women? A New Study Gave The Answer

If you are a woman who always feels cold in the office, you aren’t alone. There are countless women just like you who feel as if they are freezing at work everyday and they too have to contend with funny looks from their male colleagues when they subtly turn the air conditioning down.

The question is, why do women tend to feel the cold in the office more then men? Recently, a study entitled ‘Energy Consumption in Buildings and Female Thermal Demand’ provided some answers.

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Many men think that women who are cold in the office are just being awkward, but finally we have science to prove that there is a reason why offices are always too cold for women. Read on if you want to find out exactly why you are experiencing these problems in the workplace.

Women’s bodies produce less heat than men’s

Findings have shown that women’s bodies produce less heat than their male counterparts. This is due to the fact that women are generally smaller than men and they tend to have less muscle and more fat. As muscle produces more heat than fat, this is a big reason as to why females aren’t able to produce as much heat as males.

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After analysing the metabolic rates of 16 young women who worked in offices, it was found that they were far lower than standard values. In fact, women have up to 35% lower metabolic rates than men, and with male bodies predominantly used to set office temperature standards, this means that the standard temperatures used in offices to provide a comfortable environment are too low for many women.

Air conditioners make it harder to maintain optimum temperature

Maintaining an optimum office temperature in buildings that utilise air condition is far more complex than you may realise. You need to calculate occupancy, clothing expectations, system efficiency and so much more to be able to accurately provide and maintain a comfortable temperature.

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As we have already touched on, the thermal comfort standards take into account metabolic rates that appear to have overestimated women’s intrinsic heat production. Consequently, the standards are more favourable to male dominated office environments.

What you can do to solve the problem

Taking the necessary steps to reconfigure air conditioning systems to take into account that workforces are no longer predominantly male will lead to greater comfort for female employees. Furthermore, with less focus being placed on making offices feel like a refrigerator, the amount of energy consumed by air-conditioners would significantly decrease and this will only have a positive effect on CO2 emissions and a company’s utility bills – so it is a win win situation!

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If you work in a shared serviced office, make sure you talk to the landlord before you start looking at alternative temperature settings on the air conditioning system. They want to provide you with a comfortable environment and should be willing to take the necessary steps to ensure that the temperature is at a level that is comfortable for both male and female workers.

Ultimately, we won’t see widespread change until the standards take into account female bodies. It may seem like an obvious option, but the world of science can be seen as dated because they don’t have a great track record when it comes to acknowledging women’s existence. Consequently, a quicker option could be to speak to your line manager if you feel the office temperature is causing you ill health or preventing you from completing your work.

Getting the standards changed is a long process so in the meantime you’ll probably see us women hunched over our desks with a less than fashionable hoodie on, but at least we’ll be warm!

Featured photo credit: Stockpic via stokpic.com

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James Timpson

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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