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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

Creekside Apartments gets utility charge relief from Port Hardy council

The apartment building is undergoing restoration from a fire that happened back in 2017.

LETTER: It’s a labour of love keeping the Port Alice golf course running

‘We North Islanders are indeed fortunate to have two gorgeous golf club’

Mowi’s B.C. salmon farms achieve environmental certification from independent watchdog

Aquaculture Steward Council certification complies with 500 sustainability and social measures

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Man found dead in Sicamous near vehicle linked to suspicious death in Edmonton

The man was found dead on the evening of July 11, 2020

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Most Read