3.3 Productivity and learning

Most studies on the impact of temperature have been conducted in climate chambers. They show that the ability to learn and perform work tasks is influenced by the thermal environment. For both school work and office work, the relative number of errors made is not influenced by temperature, whereas the relative speed of learning and working is decreased. For both office and school work, the effect is seen when a very high temperature is compared to a more typical temperature; the relative performance is typically improved up to 10%. (Wargocki and Wyon, 2006; Wargocki et al., 2007).

It is not known whether increased temperatures decrease performance in naturally ventilated buildings where the occupants are adapted to the temperature.
​Figure 3.3.1 The impact of temperature on the relative performance of school work (Wargocki, 2006). 

​Figure 3.3.2 The impact of temperature on the relative performance office work(Wargocki, 2006).

Psychological mechanisms may affect how performance is influenced; both office workers and school children may be aware of the number of errors made in task; and adjust their speed to keep the number of errors at an acceptable level. 

Wargocki, P., Seppänen, O., Andersson, J., Boerstra, A., Clements-Croome, D., Fitzner, K., and Hanssen, S. O. (2007) Indoor Climate and Productivity in Offices (REHVA Guidebook) REHVA.
Wargocki, P., and Wyon, D. (2006) Effects of HVAC On Student Performance.ASHRAE Journal, 48(October), 23–28.