When winter in full swing around most of the country you might find your office struggling to keep temperature at an acceptable level for all of the employees. So, if you are a tenant in a building struggling to warm up or cool down, here is some information that may be helpful.
Put a thermometer in the hottest or coldest space so you can track the temperature and its fluctuation. Track it for a few days, ideally in sunny and cloudy weather, so you will have the information if you need to discuss the problem with a property manager. You may need more than one thermometer. You may also find out that it is not as bad as you think. Sometimes, an employee can be overly sensitive to either heat or cold, and you may just need to address the issue within your own space by providing a small fan or a small personal heater at a specific desk. Remember, spring and fall are usually the most difficult times as day-to-day temperatures fluctuate greatly and it is sometimes hard to keep up with the rapidly changing conditions.
Do what you can to control your own destiny. Sometimes you can do some things to control the temperature within your space. First and foremost, stop messing with the thermostat (or keep your employees from doing it) Set and forget it! Constantly adjusting it up and down does not help the situation as it takes a while for a change in the setting to distribute through the entire space so it is felt by the cold or hot employee. I have frequently seen someone crank up a thermostat to 85 degrees when they are cold, operating on the false assumption that setting the temperature higher that the desirable 72 will make it warm up faster. Not true! It will hit the target 72 at the same time; however, it will then zoom past it requiring the thermostat to be reset lower setting up a yo-yo of hot and cold all day. Get an inexpensive locking cover for the thermostat and avoid the conflict. Window treatments can be opened or closed depending on sun load, heat generating office equipment and lights can be turned off when not in use, doors to private offices and conference rooms can be left open to keep the air circulating, and most importantly, dress for the environment. After all, a sweater is perhaps the most cost effective form of temperature control! And, if you pay for your own utilities, taking control of your HVAC can save you money too!