it’s getting hot in here…

While the unusually warm British summer is being enjoyed by many with constant BBQs and beer gardens struggling to contain sun-seeking pub-goers, the reality for some during the week is that the majority of time is spent indoors within an office environment.

With the recent news of the MET office issuing an amber weather warning for exceptional heat this week, here are some top tips and facts to help with staying cool and healthy at work.

Drink water

It’s extremely important to keep hydrated. Although fizzy drinks may be more appealing, try and stick to water. NHS guidance states that six to eight glasses of water a day should do the trick, and there are ways to make water more exciting; such as infusing with fruit, low sugar cordials and keep-cool water bottles - these will all help achieve the suggested intake.  

Adjust your work wardrobe

Due to exceptional heat, many employers have relaxed their dress codes to allow employees to feel more comfortable commuting and being at work. Make sure you keep it appropriate and professional in terms of the amount of flesh you’re flashing, and ensure that you’re still presentable to colleagues, for meetings and visitors. 

Have a hot drink?

Rubbished as an urban myth by many, however there is some truth behind having a hot drink in the heat - a statement many swear by. An often referred to landmark 2012 scientific study examined this very question. In short, findings suggested that hot drinks such as tea can cool you down in the heat, but only if there is a breeze. If it’s still heat, probably best to stick to cold water.

Avoid direct sunlight

If you plan on being outside on your lunch break to lap up that vitamin D while you can, avoid direct sunlight for long periods. Prolonged exposure can cause tiredness and sunburn - stick to shade where possible and apply sunscreen. 

Keep the heat out

If your office has air conditioning, keep your windows closed. Although the fresh air is appealing, during these warmer times air conditioning is more beneficial. If it’s not too dark and you can close the blind or curtain, this can help keep the temperature down too. 

Turn off computers when you leave

Many offices have more computers than people. The machines kick out a lot of heat, so when you go home for the evening turn off laptops, computers and screens and ensure that any systems not being used are also kept off unless vital. 

Can you go home if it’s too hot?

With workplace health and safety regulations enforced to protect employees from the cold, there are no firm policies in place with regards to being too hot. The Trade Union Congress (TUC) have suggested that a maximum temperature for offices workers should be set at 30 degrees celsius and that employers should attempt to reduce temperatures over 24 degrees if workers are uncomfortable.

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