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Thermostat Wars: The Ultimate Office Battle

Shot of a side view portrait of a beautiful happy business man push button digital thermostat at house

Welcome to the office, where cubicles are battlefields, coworkers become enemies, the coffee machine keeps people alive, and the thermostat is ground zero for the most ubiquitous – and perhaps most hilarious – office war: The Thermostat War.

Monday Morning: The Chill Begins

First up on Monday is Jerry from Accounting. For no good reason, he’s a sub-Arctic diva. He arrives early and turns the thermostat to a bracing 62°F. Shortly thereafter, the first of the hapless hybernators stagger into the office and are greeted by the Arctic. They wrap themselves in shawls and glance over at Jerry like he’s a suspect in custody. The guy is already wearing a sweater and is sipping hot coffee with a smug smile.

Mid-Morning: The Heat Rises

But it’s not long before 10am and, after enduring Jerry’s antics for too long, Lisa from HR sneaks over to the thermostat and turns up the heat to a sizzling 78°F. Soon the office is a furnace and Jerry can be seen peeling off his sweater and beginning to melt at his desk. The rest of the office revels in the warmth, stripping off their jumpers and enjoying the peace.

Lunchtime: The Battle Intensifies

After lunch, the office has splintered into two parties: the Team Frostbites and the Team Heatstrokes. Gary in IT is serving as peacemaker. He has set the thermostat to 70°F, smack-dab in the middle – and the middle is clearly a no-man’s land. Team Frostbiters are wrapped in blankets; Team Heatstrokers are fanning themselves with office memoranda.

Afternoon Slump: The Secret Weapon

To which Karen from Marketing reveals her secret weapon in this battle: an employee-grade desk fan. In view of this, the seemingly ‘low status’ fan grows into the frontrunner of office gadgets, instantly outranking Jerry’s printer for envy level. Jerry gets himself a portable heater. Others follow suit, and before long, the arms race lands us with a potpourri of fans, heaters and one person’s dog in the office (because why not?).

The Boss Steps In

But as the insurrection takes on momentum, the man in charge decides that he has had enough. He walks over to the thermostat, gazes at it with steely eyes, and dials it down from 75°F to 72°F. ‘That’s that,’ he says. ‘Everyone’s happy now.’ The two factions grumble, but comply. The boss is glad that he called a diplomatic truce, retreats to his office, and purportedly threatens to install his own thermostat.

Friday: The Ceasefire

By Friday, a tacit cooperation of sorts has taken hold. Team Frostbite has arrived at an uneasy agreement with Team Heatstroke on passive-aggressive post-it notes on the thermostat: ‘Ooh, chilly?’ is the first. ‘Fancy baking in a sauna?’ is the next. Delicate, it is. But it works. For now.

The Moral of the Story

The Thermostat War is an age-old narrative, a reminder that office life is full of tiny, silly skirmishes that make the work week just a little bit more hilarious. Next time you fold your fingers around the thermostat, remember: you’re not just changing a temperature. You’re joining an old, old tradition of workplace humour.

Until next week’s battle, stay cool—or warm, depending on your preference.



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