Summer may be winding down but the heat can stick around for another month or two. If you feel like you’ve exhausted all of your staying cool in the office tips this summer, take a look at these and you may discover a new way to beat the end of summer heat.
Many office workers are fortunate enough to have air conditioning, in which case your biggest summertime worry may be whether you brought enough layers to combat the arctic chill blasting through the air vents.
For those whose office buildings aren’t equipped with a/c, you may be experiencing a sweltering and stuffy work environment on hot days. Here are a few ways that you can help cool down your office space and yourself.
- When it comes to picking out your summer work wardrobe, stick to natural lightweight fabrics, such as cotton, linen and silk, and avoid synthetic heavy materials, including polyester and rayon. Light colors are not only more summery in appearance but are also more appropriate for warm weather as they reflect heat and light. Finally, loose-fitting clothes allow the air to circulate more efficiently than tighter fitting clothes, which can also help you feel cooler.
- Keep the shades drawn and the window closed to keep the inside temperature as cool as possible. Unless the outside temperature is substantially cooler than inside, opening the window will not make much of a difference and may even let additional heat inside along with whatever slight breeze you may be hoping to find. Drawing the blinds will reflect the sun’s rays away from the building instead of absorbing the heat through the window. This is especially true for south and west-facing windows, which face the scorching afternoon sun. If allowed at your workplace, consider installing blackout curtains to block the heat even more efficiently. To compensate for the lack of natural light, you can use a sun lamp to help perk you up and avoid the fatigue of fluorescent lights.
- Choose your electronics wisely. For instance, laptops are known for emitting heat and can quickly become warm, especially on hot days. Avoid working from your lap as much as possible and utilize a desk or lap desk to put a barrier between you and the laptop.
- If you have the option, always choose to work on a lower level of your office building. Heat rises and makes the top floors more unbearable in the summer. Basements are ideal but each floor will be slightly more tolerable.
- Drink lots of water. While drinking water is good for you year-round, it’s even more important on hot summer days. The more you sweat, the more dehydrated you become. Dehydration can cause you to feel tired, dizzy and lead to headaches, all of which can diminish your productivity at work. Avoid alcohol and soft drinks, which can dehydrate you more, and drink plenty of water or herbal teas.
- What you eat and how much you eat both have an effect on your body temperature. Consume smaller snacks during the day instead of a big meal to keep your metabolism from overworking itself in an effort to digest large quantities of food. Avoid caffeine and food with high amounts of sugar as each can also increase your metabolism and raise your body temperature. Frozen fruits are a great healthy choice for summer snacks at work.
- Create a makeshift air conditioner using a fan and a bowl of ice. Simply position the fan so it blows directly over the ice and carries the cool refreshing blast of air to you.
- Spritz cool water infused with aloe or peppermint or apply a cold compress to your pulse points, like your neck and wrists, to lower your body temperature. While the relief may be temporary, ever little bit helps when you’re trying to stay cool.
- If you have to be outdoors for any part of your workday, try to schedule it for early morning or late afternoon when it’s not quite as hot. Be sure to protect your skin by wearing sunscreen or a protective sun hat. If you can’t avoid working outdoors between 10 am and 3 pm, you should take frequent breaks in the shade and stay hydrated.
Hopefully, these ideas can help you to stay cool throughout the remainder of summer until autumn graces us with its refreshing fall air. Don’t worry, folks! Fall will be here before we know it!