Women Finally Have a Scientific Reason to Crank Up the Heat in the Office

Ladies, we’ve all done it, and by “it,” we mean leave a cardigan, blazer or 20-pound snow coat draped full-time on our office chair. We have to; it’s the only way to survive the office’s seemingly near-consistent frigid temps. Though taking small breaks with your co-workers throughout the day to take a stroll outside and soak up the ‘rays is a great way to bond, that’s literally the only silver lining to having a freezing office. And now, we finally have proof that it not only straight-up sucks, but that women actually perform better in warmer offices.

According to a new study published yesterday in PLOS one, researchers found that, at higher temperatures, women perform better on math and verbal tasks, while men perform better in colder temperatures. So what do you do in mixed-gender workplaces? Easy, crank up the temperature, because the study also points out that the “increase in female performance in response to higher temperature is significantly larger and more precisely estimated than the corresponding decrease in male performance.” In other words, a warmer environment won’t make much of a difference for men and their work performance, but it sure as hell will for women.

For the study, researchers ran the experiment on over 500 German college students, who were asked to perform a set of cognitive tasks, including math, verbal and cognitive reflection, while subjected to manipulated indoor temperatures ranging from 61 to 90 degrees F. Cognitive tasks including solving word problems and adding double-digit numbers. For instance, the students had five minutes to work on 50 math problems.

In the end, authors Tom Y. Chang and Agne Kajackaite write:

“The increase in female cognitive performance appears to be driven largely by an increase in the number of submitted answers. We interpret this as evidence that the increased performance is driven in part by an increase in effort. Similarly, the decrease in male cognitive performance is partially driven by a decrease in observable effort. Importantly, the increase in female cognitive performance is larger and more precisely estimated than the decrease in male performance.”

And there you have it folks: It’s officially time to take back control of the A/C, ladies, and crank up the heat.

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