12 tips to combat heat in the office
It's lovely summer and of course you'd prefer to be outside, but what if this isn't an option? Perhaps you've already been on holiday, you've taken a lot of days off for some other reason, or it's simply very busy at work?
Especially if the air conditioning fails (or if you have an office without air conditioning) or no windows can be opened to let some air in, it can be a struggle to get through your working day. It's extremely hot in the Netherlands more and more often. In recent decades, we have even had ten more summery days (with temperatures higher than 25 degrees) as a result of climate change. According to KNMI, this will only increase and by 2050 we will have between 33 and 47 summery days.
So how do you deal with the heat at the office so that you can make the most of the day and still get out in time to enjoy the weather? These 12 tips will keep you cool at the office and keep productivity high!
1. Keep drinking enough when it's hot at the office
Drink plenty of water. Sufficient hydration is essential for your body during heat and has a cooling effect. So always drink plenty during a heat wave. Leave the coffee and alcohol behind and opt for water, that's it. Alcohol and drinks with caffeine only dehydrate you, so be careful with these on hot days. Even if you sit still at your desk, it's important to keep drinking. Tip! Don't drink ice-cold water, but lukewarm herbal tea. This turns out to be the best drink to keep your body temperature under control. Surprisingly, warm drinks can keep you cool. It may seem strange, but drinking a hot drink causes the receptors in your mouth and throat to signal and sweat, which cools your body faster. This makes your body cool down faster.
2. Shut out the sunlight and close windows and doors
Close all doors, windows, curtains and blinds. Keeping the sun and warm air out will cool down the office more. However, this will not be an option for every office, in which case it is best to ventilate as much as possible so that the wind chill is lower.
3. Air-conditioning in the office
Look for air conditioning, because air-conditioned offices are generally a lot cooler. Perhaps you are able to schedule appointments at new office buildings or government offices? These often have better climate control.
Give your A/C some maintenance! It is important to keep your fan or air conditioner clean. A dirty A/C can lose up to 15% in cooling power. Perhaps you should ask your employer if the air conditioning has been cleaned recently?
4. Eating during the heat at the office
Do not eat protein-rich meals, as they increase the metabolism in your body and make you feel hot. It is better to eat lots of fruit and vegetables. Water-containing products, such as watermelon, cucumber and tomatoes are particularly good for office sweating during heat waves. Eat spicy! People from countries with extreme climates know this well, spicy food can cool you down. There's a compound in chillies that increases perspiration (which isn't always nice), but it cools your body down faster.
5. Take more breaks
And use these extra minutes to enjoy the sun on, for example, the office roof terrace or get yourself some ice cream (you are happy, colleagues are happy). Offices with beautiful roof terraces or nice outdoor spaces. Of course, the warm weather is not all negative. Employees are generally happier and enjoy the weather, unless it's an extreme heatwave. It is therefore advisable to offer them a pleasant outdoor space where they can recharge with some fresh air in the sun or shade before getting back to work. If you click on Office space Amsterdam for example, you will find several offices with beautiful roof terraces!
6. Stay calm and quiet
It's hot and there's not much we can do to change how Mother Nature manages that. How you react to it, however, is entirely up to you. Worrying about the heat is really pointless. What's more, it will only raise your body temperature. So stay calm, accept the heat and save your energy.
7. Work according to a tropical schedule
Start as early as possible, in the early morning the temperature is a lot better than later in the day. An additional advantage is that you finish earlier and can still enjoy some sunshine after your working day.
8. Use fans in the office
Do you have an office without air conditioning? Make sure there is good ventilation. Open doors, switch on the fan and let your office ventilate. This will keep it cooler in your office space. Nowadays you can also buy USB fans, so you can at least provide your own cooling in the office. Make your own air conditioning, put a block of ice in front of your fan or sit right in front of the fan if you don't have any ice. It may look silly, but that doesn't make it less effective.
9. Adapt your clothes
Not all employers are happy to see you in shorts and flip-flops, but even if beachwear is a no-go at your organisation, there are still plenty of options. Choose light clothing that is not too tight, so that the heat from your body can escape better. Bring a pair of open shoes that you can put on as soon as you get the chance. Wear slippers, for many of us it's an absolutely NO GO, but if you work at a company where no one makes a fuss about it. Flip-flops make sure that your feet and ankles are a lot cooler. This has an effect on your whole body.
10. Place more office plants
Houseplants are great at regulating the climate, even within four walls. So fill up the office garden with these green rascals.
11. Eliminate all sources of heat in your office
Eliminate all sources of heat in your office. Turn off any appliances you're not using, they all add extra heat to the office space. Turn off the lights, as they also generate extra heat, and don't run the dishwasher until everyone has left the office.
12. Pack your things and go home
30 degrees in the office or higher? And is it really unbearable? Then pack your things and continue working at home. According to the FNV, the temperature may not exceed 30 degrees Celsius for seated office work. Other rules of thumb apply to heavier work. If the temperature rises above that, be sensible and leave the office!
Are you an employer or manager? Then it would be a nice gesture if, for example, you go and get ice cream for your employees or take everyone out for an ice cream. We do this at our office from time to time and it is always very well received! Are you completely fed up with the heat at the office and do you have an office without air conditioning? Contact us to hire an office space with air conditioning or a climate control system. That way you'll get through the summer well and you'll probably soon earn a return in the office through the improved productivity of the employees.