For those of us living around Santa Clarita Valley and across the region, it is certainly no surprise when the mercury starts rising and we face yet another sweltering summer ahead of us. For those of us working in the office, this comes with a whole host of challenges. These challenges can be broadly split into two distinct categories – things we can do to prepare the office for the onset of the summer heat, and things we can do personally in order to stay cool as we struggle through the warmer months.
Hot weather is sometimes considered “good weather”, especially in those areas that don’t enjoy such conditions regularly. But the people who say that most often are rarely the ones that have to work in it! It is quite a different matter to be spending a warm summer’s day lounging on some cool grass or by a pool; it is quite another matter to be battling through a busy commute before working a day’s shift at the office desk. For those of us in the latter camp, hot weather is just another fact of life and something we have to cope with in order to get through the working day in a hot part of the world. Sometimes it is not easy, but the problem is nothing new and accordingly there are countless tips and general wisdom that sweltering workers have built up over the years. Keeping cool throughout the working day is hardly rocket science, but you’d be surprised at some of the innovative tips and tricks that can help you along the way.
How to Prepare an Office for the Summertime
If you have any sort of influence over your office or workplace’s summer climate control policy, then there are several things you can do to help keep things cool throughout the day. Surprisingly, even though much of this wisdom has been around for decades, ill-prepared offices with poor climate control and, therefore, sweaty and irritated employees, are still very common almost anywhere that summer heat is an annual fact of life.
But it doesn’t have to be like this; in fact, it shouldn’t be like this either. Uncomfortable employees are hardly productive employees, and the thing about incessant heat is simply that it makes you tired. There is a biological basis for this. When the body is being externally heated beyond its optimal range, the heart, lungs, and kidneys all have to work harder to address the problem. Ultimately, this simply tires you out. This is the reason why many overheated employees complain of feeling more tired in hot weather, regardless of how much sleep they got the night before. In extreme cases, workers can find themselves constantly staring at the emergency exit signs wishing they were the little figure racing for the door.
So as well as all the things that each employee can personally do to keep cool, any place of work should also have a strategy and infrastructure in place to deal with the heat. Here are some of the most essential bases to cover:
Make Use of Fans
We will start with the obvious. In lieu of a top-notch climate control or air con system, the best way to keep an office cool is to ensure there is a plentiful supply of fans to be set up in each room. Depending on how hot it is, open windows might not do much. A fan, on the other hand, will always contribute to cooling things down. Don’t go cheap and be sure to buy as many as are needed. It will make all the difference.
Make Use of the Cool Evening Air
Regardless of how effective (or ineffective) an office’s aircon is, most modern buildings are at least pretty effective when it comes to maintaining an indoor temperature for at least some time before it inevitably acclimatizes to the outdoor temperature. With this principle in mind, you can prepare an office for the following day’s heat by opening all the windows in the evening at the end of the working day. The cool evening air will cool down the office and persist at least some way into the next day. This is probably not a good idea for ground floor offices though!
Get a Better Aircon
Depending on how hot your office typically gets, investing in a state-of-the-art aircon system can be all but essential. But what is a state-of-the-art aircon system? To pick the right one, it does well to familiarize yourself with the different types of office aircon available today. The main types are as follows:
- multi-split air conditioning systems
- central air conditioning units
- ducted air conditioning systems.
Of the three, it is undoubtedly the latter which is best for an office complex. Ducted aircon systems are specifically designed for cooling down multiple rooms within a building. In other words, they are the best for offices. Therefore, if you can, get one of these systems installed and try not to go cheap. It really will make all the difference.
How to Keep Yourself Cool
Depending on how much clout you actually have where office management is concerned, you might not have a great deal of control over the climate control infrastructure at your place of work. Luckily, there are a range of tips you can employ to make sure that at least you stay cool.
Draw Blinds and Drapes (If You Can)
Drawing the blinds or drapes in the space in which you work is an obvious and effective way to keep yourself cool. Sunlight streaming through glass windows into an office creates a greenhouse effect. You can preserve the indoor temperature at a more bearable level by cutting out this factor.
Try Home-Made Aircon Solutions
If you don’t have the money for a high-tech aircon system or, as a mere employee, you do not consider that your responsibility, there are much cheaper solutions that can at least keep things a bit more clement at your desk. A great trick is to keep a cup of ice close by. By breathing into the cup, you will direct chilled air directly back up into your face, which can be marvelously refreshing. You can also check out this page for more ideas.
Change Your Working Hours
If you have the privilege of flexible working hours, then you may wish to alter your schedule to avoid the hottest parts of the day. In practice, this means coming into work significantly earlier or significantly later. Either way, you can be relaxing in the garden, having completed (or not yet started) the day’s work while others are sweltering in the office.
However you decide to approach the problem, there’s no denying that the range of innovative ideas for both personally keeping cool and improving the ambient conditions of your office is nearly endless. This article has merely scratched the surface, so always be on the lookout for the best way to keep cool.