Sweltering hot days are great when you’re on the beach – but high temperatures can bring office workers out in a sweat! Here are a few tips to survive summer in the office:
- Be ready for the Office Cold War, a.k.a. the Battle of the Thermostat! On one side of the battle line are people who find it hard to cope with high temperatures. They want the air conditioning switched on at full blast the whole time and are prepared to die for it. On the other side are those who find the air conditioning too cold, and sit shivering, wrapped up in cardigans, worried they might get frostbite in the middle of a heatwave. Which one are you? Work it out and dress accordingly. If you sit right under the air-con unit, it can be awkward. You freeze while the rest of the office is still too hot. If possible, move to another desk BEFORE the heatwave starts. It’s a good idea to bring several layers of clothes to cope with the fluctuating temperatures of the battle zone. If you’re a manager, try to think ahead about how to keep the peace between warring factions. Buying ice creams for over-heated staff might help a little.
- Plan a suitable wardrobe in advance of the mid-summer heat. In most offices, too much bare flesh is frowned upon. Bare armpits and midriffs are considered unprofessional in the majority of workplaces and so are flip-flops. Check out the office dress code before you make a blunder, and look for structured and professional styles in lighter, breathable fabrics like cotton, silk and linen.
- Summer often brings a change in workload. In some offices, the pressure increases as staff have to cover for absent colleagues. There can also be delays in decision-making because key people are away on holiday. To minimise your frustration, try to plan ahead and anticipate the issues that might come up. It also helps to make sure that you save up some annual leave and take a holiday yourself during the summer to escape some of the tension.
- Keep a small spray of rosewater (or just plain water) to gently hydrate your face as temperatures soar and keep a supply of chilled drinks and ice cubes in the fridge. And desktop fans can produce a welcome breeze, so make sure that the office has several. Don’t forget that many fan-heaters have a cold setting and will provide extra relief in extreme temperatures.