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Question
Posted by: just me | 2010/05/26

cold at work

My colleague and I share an office, and she insists on keeping the air-con spot on 17 degrees Celcius, with the fan going...even though it''s practically snowing outside! And i''m the one sitting directly underneath the icy monstrosity. I''ve asked her nicely to change it, since I can barely feel my fingers, they''re an awful shade of purple on very cold days, but to no avail. I''ve even tried changing the settings when she has to go to the bathroom, and turning over out the remote control''s batteries so that the thing wouldn''t work...but she only went to get some new batteries, and soon we were back in the freezer! This is seriously affecting me, I dread coming to work, I feel like I did when I was 10 years old, and my dad controlled the radio in the car, and put it VERY loudly despite me telling him my head and ears are hurting from the loudness. How should I handle this? It feels like a power struggle over something utterly irrelevant...YET I cannot do my work properly when I''m this cold, really, it''s awful. Making me feel quite down, to be honest.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I agree with Lin. If she feels unduly hot, insist, on the grounds of you great concern for her comfort, on changing desks with her, so SHE can sit right under the blast of the aircon. And maybe try wearing a heavy coat, hat and scarf in the office, and if anyone asks about it, say it's so cold you can't concentrate on your work unless feeling warmer. Mittens or gloves might make typing and other skills more difficult.

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5
Our users say:
Posted by: Red | 2010/05/28

Get yourself a fan heater. It''s very small and you can keep it next to you to feel the warm air.

Reply to Red
Posted by: Anon | 2010/05/27

I must say I am in the opposite situation: I always get hot in the office! I do compromise though and the temp is already far warmer than I canhandle but I just don''t want to cause an argumanet - I have offfered to swop with the guy sitting on the cooler side but this was refused. I cant consentrate when I am hot and hate when if there isn''t any air in the office. In my office building people often say they are cold but then they dress very skimpy clothing and refuse to put on warmer clothes even though, as you say, it is practically snowing outside. It is very difficult for me to take more clothes off but other people can always put more on. Here''s a suggestion that has proven helpful: bring a hot water bottle to work - yes maybe you think it looks silly, but really it works like a bomb. When your body feels warmer, so too do your fingers. And like the other person suggest dress warmer. I never understand why employers make staff share offices - its conducive to distractions and causes this kind of fight time and again. Surely people will work better when they sit in a smaller office/cubicle on their own? Perhaps yes, if your co worker refuses to compromise, point out to her that the law says: 21 - 23 degrees 9ours is set on 27 or 28 - so imagine how flipping warm that is for a person who gets too warm.And if she doesn''t compromise, go to your manager before you go to HR (this can end up being a big issue which could reflect badly on your references and could get her in big trouble).

Reply to Anon
Posted by: Leez | 2010/05/27

That''s awful. If this advice fails - take it as a grievance to HR. Good luck, she''s spiteful.

Reply to Leez
Posted by: Lin | 2010/05/26

Change desks with her so she''s underneath the aircon. And then tell her that Health and Safety Advised that aircons be set between 21 and 23 degrees C. Also, aircons spread ALOT of germs! It''s one of the biggest reasons that people working in offices get sick one after the other.
You just need to tell her that you''d prefer it on say 25 degrees and she keeps it on 17 degrees so a middleground at 21 degrees and no less needs to be found.

Reply to Lin
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/05/26

I agree with Lin. If she feels unduly hot, insist, on the grounds of you great concern for her comfort, on changing desks with her, so SHE can sit right under the blast of the aircon. And maybe try wearing a heavy coat, hat and scarf in the office, and if anyone asks about it, say it's so cold you can't concentrate on your work unless feeling warmer. Mittens or gloves might make typing and other skills more difficult.

Reply to cybershrink

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