Struggling to stay cool at work as the mercury rises? These eight tips will help you stay focused as temperatures rise
The UK is enjoying longer summers and warmer days more often: May 2018 was the equal-second warmest May since 1910, with the warmest-recorded early May bank holiday since the day was introduced in 1978, and above-average levels of sunshine across almost the entire country.
The pleasant weather can be problematic for those whose workplaces don’t have air-conditioning, and those who work from home. Here are eight ways to stay cool at work when the temperatures rise.
1. Keep the blinds or curtains drawn
Stopping the sun from entering a room will help keep things cool. Sunlight shining through into the office all day, every day, will almost create a ‘greenhouse effect’. Stopping this from happening for as much time as possible will keep the temperature lower.
2. Use the cool evening air
Opening the windows later in the evening, when the air is cooler, will help to cool the air in the office. This will mean that someone will have to be in the office later but shift workers and those doing overtime are perfectly placed to help cool things down.
3. Reflect and reduce the heat
Considering installing reflective window film to redirect sunlight away from the office and help keep the heat down. If this option is prohibitively expensive, try placing light-coloured objects near the windows to reflect heat away from the room.
4. Try home-made air con
Placing a large bowl of ice in front of a regular fan will mimic the effect of air conditioning. The air from the fan will be cooled as it passes over the ice, lowering the room’s temperature than a standalone fan would do.
5. Create a personal air-con system
For a more personal air con experience, fill a cup with ice or crushed ice and breathe onto it. As the air from your breath can only escape upwards, it will be cooled by the ice and then directed back onto your face, cooling you down.
6. Turn off heat-generating objects
Turn off any electrical items – such as lights – that aren’t being used. This will not only reduce the heat in the room but also how much electricity you consume.
7. Cool your pulse points
Dabbing cold water or holding an ice cube on your pulse points will provide immediate relief from the heat, and will help to cool your entire body.
8. Change the hours you work
If you have the luxury of flexible working, try changing your hours to earlier or later in the day – giving you the chance to work when the temperature is slightly cooler.
This article was first published in July 2013. It was updated in June 2017 for freshness, clarity and accuracy.