The best tips to keep your workplace cool
Whether you're working in a small study or a large open-plan office, once the mercury starts to rise, one thing is essential: cooling. After all, nothing is more annoying than sitting behind your workplace at half past nine in the morning with sloshing armpits. But how can you arrange that quickly without having to invest in a very expensive climate installation? Is a mobile air conditioner maybe a nice solution? And why is a cool workplace increasingly important?
Heat record after heat record
No one will have noticed that it seems to be getting warmer in the Netherlands year after year. And it doesn't just seem that way it is also so. Under the influence of climate change, our weather picture is becoming more extreme, and in the summer months this manifests itself in more hot days and longer heat waves.
It is therefore not surprising that we have seen heat record after heat record being broken in recent years. That is nice if you want to sit in your garden on your free Sunday afternoon, but if you 'just' have to work hard, then heat is less pleasant. And governing is looking ahead, so anyone who wants to be assured of a pleasant temperature in the workplace in the hottest months should preferably start in good time, especially knowing that more and more Dutch people are go to the office. In recent years, a shortage of air conditioners due to the overwhelming demand in the high season.
Not only pleasant, also productive
Then there is always that one colleague who actually likes it, thirty degrees in the office. You can really enjoy working in that, right?
To convince that colleague too, it is good to know that a cool workplace (for most people) is not only a matter of pleasant working, but it also actually benefits your productivity. Employees generally perform best at 22 degrees Celsius. Once it gets much warmer, work will be slower, more mistakes will be made and longer breaks will be taken. In short: being able to offer a cool office during a heat wave is a matter of good business management.
How do you keep your workplace cool? The Twelve Best Tips!
- Care for blinds. This can be curtains or blinds, but the best is 'real' sun protection on the outside of the facade. As soon as the sun hits your windows, the heat will still get in – even if you close the curtains.
- Invest in a before the high season (mobile) air conditioning and have it maintained in the low season. This way you keep costs low and you can be sure of a working installation when you need it.
- Drink a lot and eat spicy. Spicy food ultimately cools the body – although it may not feel that way when you eat it. There is a reason that people in India always eat spicy food…
- Install fans if you don't have air con. Moving air feels cooler than still air. We call that a 'great breeze'. If you don't have air conditioning, a fan is an absolute must.
- Adjust your work schedule(s). For example, start extra early, so that at the hottest time of the day – around three o'clock in the afternoon – you can already sit outside under the parasol. Yes, a five o'clock alarm is no fun, but neither is baking away while working.
- Have plants in your workspace. Plants clean the air, but also cool it. Aside from wanting to combat heat, plants in your office are always a good idea, so if you haven't done this yet, you know what to do.
- Swap coffee and tea for water. Caffeine makes you feel even hotter because it draws moisture from your body, and hot drinks don't do you any good if you're already warm. So leave them alone or limit yourself to one cup, early in the morning.
- Choose your workplace strategically. Are you in an office space with a window on one side that is exposed to the sun all morning? Then it will be a few degrees warmer around that window than on the other side. So choose your workplace strategically and move some desks temporarily if necessary.
- Turn off lamps and other heat sources. Computers, printers or other devices that are humming unnecessarily? Have a nice time off. The same goes for lamps, especially in places where nobody might be sitting. They all contribute to that warmth!
- Keep your wrists, forehead and neck cool. For example, by putting a wet towel in it every hour. You can easily cool your wrists under the tap. Small effort, but does a lot! And that brings you directly to the next tip, which is…
- Take a break more often. Every hour for example. To keep your wrists under the tap (just a tip) or to warm up in another way. In any case, during a heat wave it is wise to take it a little easier, provided the work permits, of course.
- Finally, forget the formal attire. During the really hot days, everyone will forgive you if you wear lighter clothes with open shoes. But keep it civil. Too much naked meat is a no-go and walking barefoot to the cafeteria will not be thanked either. So dress lightly, but in moderation.
Bonus tip for ICT employees: the server room where it is always nice and cool! There is probably a piece of hardware that needs an update…