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The Wall Street Journal and Office Thermostat Wars

Wall Street Journal

Illustration by: JASON SCHNEIDER


The office thermostat wars are very much real. These conflicts can cause stress, headaches, along with company-wide discomfort. The Wall Street Journal’s Sue Shellenberger decided to outline this problem and provide the most tech-savvy solutions.


Janice from accounting is freezing. Ever since she clocked in at 9 a.m her mind drifted away from her workflow. The office seemed to get colder and colder. After an hour of braving the infinite chill with nothing but a cashmere sweater, Janice knew what to do: go directly into battle. She headed for the office thermostat. 


Other formidable gladiators were there. Mel from advertising came in with a thousand yard stare. Lucy from the HR department also sized up the competition. And let’s not forget Janice’s arch nemesis: “Sweltering Steven.” On the outside, Steven looked like just another accountant.  


But yet, he was a thermostat titan in near constant control of the 68-degree reading. Janice waited with patience for Steve to retreat, and that is when she struck. She stopped at the water cooler to let a co-worker know that this season’s Dancing with the Stars has been great.  But it was just a ruse: with a sleight-of-hand, Janice turned the thermostat up to 72° mid-conversation.


As she settled back into her desk beaming with of victory, Janice started that workflow from before. It was for naught as Steven went over to the thermostat and turned it down an hour later. 


This is not uncommon as Sue Shellenberger of the Wall Street Journal  found how subjective internal temperature is per person. Factors ranging from biological composition, when they work, and other preferences can cause significant preferences in internal temperature. When employees are in a constant fight for thermostat control, it can cause decreases in productivity as well as operational inefficiency. Companies even go to great lengths to appease everyone and even install personal thermostats for “temperature outliers.” 


Thankfully there are simpler tech-driven solutions that companies can use today. CrowdComfort is proud to be one of them. Our CEO Eric Graham (@begraham43) was quoted in that Wall Street Journal article as an expert in this field. With solutions like ours, we hope the Janices and Stevens of the world can co-exist. 


Download our white paper on Connected Operations and Management to be part of the future, or see the full value of the Human Sensor Network here.  


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