According to a new article in Britain's The Guardian, walking into Facebook's offices is like walking into a deli fridge. Or into the back of a cold room in a scientific lab. Or into Jason's Deli. Or down a Seattle street in July. It's gonna be a steamer today, Seattleites: 78 degrees with very low humidity, so crank the air conditioning! Wait, we live in Seattle so we don't have air conditioning, but we do have useless ceiling heat systems and a lot of unhappy hipsters who could use some cloudy weather after five days of sun, sun, sun. If you look closely, you might find 50 shades of gray among the clouds on a warm, overcast day. Try it, it's fun. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest (the rainy side) where I went to school with this guy, so I feel comfortable throwing down a few wet blankets.
But back to people who work at Facebook and might be able to see their breath even though they live in California. Facebook's four walls hover right around 15 degrees Celsius at all times. For the non-scientifically inclined, metrics-challenged average American that's right around 60 degrees. It's called sweater weather, and apparently Mark Zuckerberg likes it this way.
[Zuckerberg's] reasoning isn't clear. The perilously low temperature might be a way to save money on heating, or a sign he personally struggles to keep cool. Most likely though, it's an attempt to maximise productivity, to keep his employees alert – a tactic sometimes used by parents determined to raise child prodigies. But is this a brilliant idea, or a deeply misguided move?Ah yes, the eternal question: Do colder temperatures turn employees into better workers? No, not really. Researchers in Finland, who know a thing or two about very cold temperatures, studied this question a few years ago and concluded that 22 degrees Celsius is the optimum temperature for wage slaves stuck in office buildings. A separate Cornell University in New York study, meanwhile, found that employees working in offices set around 20 degrees Celsius suffer a 25% error rate on the job. Well, at least now we know how we end up being forced to adopt stupid ideas like Timeline. Or putting up with snobby, insular, self-selecting, outdated thinking that pushes the old, tired meme that only job applicants who attended "prestigious universities" can do the job. Wait, wrong company.
By the way, it's almost time to over-crank the air conditioning again in the Northern Hemisphere. Are you getting amped up? Who knew August could be sweater weather? You did, Mr. and Ms. North American Employee. Is it okay to put a space heater underneath your desk at work this summer? Eh, you'd probably take too much heat for it.