Survey Reveals Comfort Sacrificed to Save Energy

November 16, 2009
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MILWAUKEE - Johnson Controls commissioned a survey of nearly 800 American adults who work in an office setting. According to this new survey of office workers, 69 percent said they would be willing to sacrifice their preferred ideal temperature in the office to help their company conserve energy. However, the survey also found that nearly four in five participants (78 percent) said they are less productive at work when they are too hot or too cold.

According to Johnson Controls, the findings indicate that many workers think their employers could be doing more to be energy efficient. The challenge to business owners is avoiding a negative impact on office productivity and the possibility that workers may take action to circumvent their discomfort, including the use of portable heaters or fans, if temperatures are not ideal, said Johnson Controls.

“Employers may be tempted to turn down the thermostats this fall, but this quick fix could lead to hidden costs,” said Clay Nesler, vice president of Global Energy and Sustainability, Johnson Controls. “Energy-efficient systems and equipment is the win-win alternative, allowing businesses to save energy and money without sacrificing workplace productivity.”

In the survey, almost all participants said their office has been too hot or too cold at some point - 98 percent - and when that occurs, most - 78 percent - said they are less productive. Forty-nine percent of office workers have used a fan when it was too hot in their office, and 28 percent used a space heater when it was too cold.

Nearly 30 percent have left their office building to take a walk outside when it was too hot or too cold in their workspace. Forty-one percent have informed their office manager or custodian of their discomfort. Approximately seven in ten, 69 percent, have adjusted their clothing, such as adding a sweater if was too cold or removing a layer if it was too hot.

American workers expect their employers to take action, and the results indicate that 45 percent think their employer is not doing enough to make their office environments energy efficient.

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Publication date: 11/16/2009

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