Discussion On
Scientifically Proven Tips For a More Productive Office

by in Career


  1. HikingStick
    Thursday, March 2450, 2011

    When going to market, how can one identify which bulbs have higher color temperatures? I don’t remember seeing that on any labels. It’s hard enough to find lumens on a standard (non-LED) bulb package.

    • Jess Johnson
      Thursday, March 2421, 2011

      I’ve seen lumens and color temperature listed on compact fluorescent bulbs, but I don’t think I have seen that info for regular incandescent bulbs. Sometimes high color temp bulbs are marketed as “cool” or “blue” lights.

      • p-l-u
        Monday, March 2829, 2011

        I have also seen many “daylight” bulbs with high color temperatures.

  2. Iain
    Friday, March 2542, 2011

    > Increase productivity by maintaining an ambient temperature that is comfortable or slightly cooler than your comfort zone

    That graph doesn’t seem to support this. It seems the highest productivity in most of the studies is attributed to the range 23-26°C. That’s 73-75°F, slightly above a “room temperature” of 72°F. The offices I’ve been in were usually much colder, maybe 68°F, which on this graph (at 20°C), all studies show is a few % less effective.

    • Jess Johnson
      Friday, March 2549, 2011

      Good point Iain. The first paper linked under the temperature section contains that graph and the conclusion that comfortable or slightly cooler than comfort are best for productivity, but they didn’t do a good job of explaining how they define the comfort zone.

      I think part of the problem is that the temperature comfort zone will change depending on the season, the location, and from person to person. Right now I have the AC set at 28°C/82°F, which according to the graph is very unproductive. However, it’s 35°C/95°F outside and my office feels plenty cool to me.

    • stevo
      Monday, March 2836, 2011

      The AC here in the office broke yesterday and we can’t get anybody in to fix it until this afternoon. We are sure feeling the productivity hit!

  3. rbrbrbr
    Friday, March 2544, 2011


  4. ghm
    Saturday, March 2640, 2011

    I have a natural tendency to discount a lot of the ergonomic crap that is being peddled by various companies. At my last job they bought us all ergonomic mice and keyboards, and I actually had more pain in my hands and wrists and felt my productivity suffer.

    • Jess Johnson
      Sunday, March 2740, 2011

      Yep, the research on a lot of ergonomics accessories is inconclusive. There is good support for buying a highly adjustable chair, but the data supporting the use of other accessories like mice and keyboards is a bit murky. I will be publishing an upcoming article on that topic in the next few weeks. You can sign up to be notified when it comes out by clicking here: http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/emailverifySubmit?feedId=1628114

    • anon
      Tuesday, March 2917, 2011

      I think a lot of it is just personal preference and what you are used to. I really like the ergonomic keyboards (well, some styles) and ergonomic mouse pads, but can’t stand to use any of the ergonomicly designed mice.

  5. dave dibble
    Monday, July 3010, 2012

    In the XYZ vs. Temperature graph, there is a typo in the title. Thanks for producing this- we are having a discussion about our hot workplace

    • Jess Johnson
      Monday, July 3039, 2012

      I pulled that graph straight out of the research paper. It just goes to show that PhDs make mistakes too.

      Temperature is often one of the easiest changes that can be made to boost workers’ productivity, so hopefully you guys can get your hot workplace sorted out.


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