Meetings, conference calls, internet, emails are known to be productivity killers at the workplace, but did you know that rising temperature can make people less productive as well? A new study has found that hot weather may cause significant global economic losses because workers are less productive when it is warm. It also adds that adaptation measures such as air conditioning may not fully solve this problem.
The study, led by researchers E. Somanathan, Rohini Somanathan, Anant Sudarshan and Meenu Tewari, at the University of Chicago in the US, examined the impact of temperature on worker productivity and absenteeism using data from India, the third largest economy in the world. It puts together data from individual workers as well as factories, spanning labor-intensive and highly automated manufacturing processes.
Can Temperature Affect Productivity?
Your work area temperature can have a huge impact on how productive you are. The study shows that productivity drops by as much as four per cent per degree when temperatures rise above 27 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit) in workplaces requiring manual labour. In highly automated settings, this effect was not observed.
Less productive workers mean a less productive business, and a less productive economy. To determine if the declines in worker productivity decreased the output of factories, the researchers looked at data from almost…