The office or shopfloor that was unbearably cold in January is unbearably hot in July. Since we’re British, the air conditioning doesn’t work properly and we’re wishing we were at home somewhere cool and making the most of this stunningly fine weather while it lasts.
It’s important to take the edge off the heat in work right now. It’s not just about productivity, but also about basic well-being, so what can we do to stay cool in work this summer? Here are some tips from the Department of the Exceedingly Obvious, and do check out these notes from the HSE:
Drink plenty of water. Keep water in the fridge if you can, but any cold water will stop you dehydrating. I indulge myself with iced tea, but that’s me. Hot drinks will add to your hydration but at the cost of raising your temperature. You might want to drink less tea or coffee, though. It’s the caffeine, making you wee away all that much-needed water.
Dress as coolly as possible within your workplace dress code. Loose clothes allow air to circulate. Some fabrics work better than others in the heat. If outdoors, wear a hat with a broad brim.
Don’t eat a heavy lunch. The post-lunch slump can destroy productivity in hot weather. Perhaps eat a good breakfast, and something cold and snacky at lunchtime.
Rinse the wrists. Really. Stick them under the cold tap and cool those pulse points for a minute every so often.
Stay out of direct sunlight. Don’t be shy about using the blinds or shades to keep the sun out of the office.
Switch things off. Electrical office stuff generates heat. What doesn’t need to be on constantly? That said …
Dig out the fans. Get one for yourself if necessary.
Report malfunctioning air conditioning. According to many forecasts, this could be a long hot summer. Just get the A/C sorted, eh?
Schedule the work around the temperature. Could you do the more active stuff early in the day when it’s not so hot? Could you hold that meeting in a cooler space?
Let air circulate. Warm, still air means stuffy air. If there’s no air conditioning, open some windows and prop open some doors. Not fire doors, though, eh?
There we are: some fairly obvious measures that we all know but often overlook.