LOS ANGELES, CA - It's an office divided. Alliances form, there's subterfuge and sabotage. The issue at hand? Control of the thermostat. Some people run hot, some people run cold- and HR is running out of ways to keep the peace.
Your ability to stay warm depends on your size, gender, and metabolic rate. Any woman wrapped in a blanket at her desk in August will tell you that females get cold more easily than men. Why? They have lower resting metabolic rates and higher levels of estrogen- which amplifies the way blood vessels respond to cold. More subcutaneous fat can also help keep a person's body warm.
Dr. Christopher Minson, an expert in human thermo-regulation at The University of Oregon, just received a grant to study ways to make the office more comfortable for people who are always freezing. Minson is considering everything from heated chairs to special clothes and tools meant to keep hands warm without interfering with finger dexterity.
So someday soon, we could have something much more sophisticated than those mittens your cubicle mate is wearing. Those desk fans and dirty looks could all be a thing of the past.