The importance of staying cool at the office in the summer

The importance of staying cool at the office in the summer

The summer brings about a lot of things, fetes, festivals, beach parties and more. However many people still have to work during the week and often it is in small offices that are in desperate need of air conditioning. This can have a real effect on work productivity, as temperatures rise with no chance of a dip in a local swimming pool (not many offices have pools) to cool down. While not every office is equipped with air conditioning, it certainly makes a big difference as it increases air flow, reduces humidity and prevents people from getting that awful summer sticky feeling.

It is important for colleagues and employees to stay cool during the summer, for reasons explained by air conditioning and cooling system specialist, below:

Temperature affects office productivity

Studies have shown that productivity in humans is greatly affected by the room temperature in which we work. Similar to working in freezing temperatures in the winter, we have an ‘upper temperature’ tolerance, after which our office productivity drops immensely. Optimum performance seems to be between 18C and 25C, any higher or lower than that and we start getting fidgety and distracted.

Heat + Work = Stress

Working in hot and humid temperatures makes us edgy and stressful, making it easy for us to get frustrated at little things or if we are having difficulty in our daily tasks. There can be times when the hot weather simply puts us in an overall foul mood, which really isn’t helpful when working in an office environment, especially when you are considered to be part of a team.

Extreme Heat can Cause Headaches

One thing you really don’t want when you are hot and you are stressed. However working in a stressful, humid environment often leads to headaches, particularly if you are not getting enough water. Hydration is always important and even more so during the summer, so a few cups of water next to your desk throughout the day isn’t quite going to cut it. You’ll need to bring a big bottle in or invest in a water cooler that gives you free, cold water whenever you need it.

Even taking a short break of five minutes away from the desk or the computer screen to get a drink of water can help with head pain. Keep a small supply or paracetamol or ibuprofen with you if you know you are subject to headaches and try spacing out your breaks throughout the day so that you break little and often.

What can be done? Techniques to reduce distraction

The heat can make it distracting and hard to work, so it is important to take regular breaks to refresh your mind.  Ask your employer if you can take a walk around the building as fresh air also works wonders to help prevent distraction, or see if you can crack open a window. Set yourself little goals throughout the day to give yourself a sense of achievement, without feeling too stressed out about larger goals.

Whether you work in a small office of only ten or twenty people, or you work on a large corporate floor with fifty other employees, when one of you starts feeling the heat, the rest of you won’t be far behind. Like with portable heaters in the winter time, the desk fans will come out and the top buttons will start popping off of shirts in a bid to stay cool.

Keep hydrated and take a break every now and then, particularly if you are working in a high rise building, as it can get hotter in the upper levels. It is important not to get too stressed out, as this can only make things worse! Freeze a water bottle before work so that you have ice cold water all day, or if you don’t already have an air conditioning unit, put a request in for your boss! They want you to stay happy and productive!