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too hot in office

6 top tips from the experts on coping with a heatwave

Ever wondered why hot weather seems to have more of an effect on us here in Britain than it does in other countries? Well, obviously the biggest reason is to do with the climate we experience most of the rest of the year, but there are a number of knock-on effects too. For example, the vast majority of homes and offices in the US and Australia are fitted with air conditioning systems, whereas many of us here in the UK are only equipped with heating. So, apart from air conditioning, how else can we cope when the weather gets this scorchingly hot? Well…

1. Avoid the heat by staying out of the sun

This is an obvious one, but that’s just one more reason why it’s worth saying! It’s a relatively easy ask for those of us working in offices, but for people working outdoors – for example, electricians or construction professionals – it’s more of a danger. The sun is hottest between the hours of 11am and 3pm, and after that the heat gradually starts to tail off. If you’re an employee, it’s worth timing any outside errands to try and avoid those hours, and if you’re an employer, it’s important to make sure your workers have enough available shade.

2. Dress appropriately

Bear with us on this one! When it comes to work, we’re not necessarily saying break out the shorts and skirts immediately – obviously, it depends on the culture and code of your workplace. But even if you’re in business attire, it’s still a good idea to make sure your clothing is as cool and as loose fitting as possible. If you’re a boss, consider relaxing the dress code rules, at least temporarily. More comfortable employees are more productive employees! (And if you’re at home – well, definitely break out the shorts and skirts. We’ll leave the specifics up to you.)

3. Make sure you’re properly hydrated

staying hydrated

Dehydration is one of the most common causes of heat-related illness, made worse by the fact that many people ignore the symptoms until the moment they actually become ill. To avoid that, drink cold drinks regularly, ideally water. Steer clear of tea, coffee and cola – especially the first two, as these can actually dehydrate you more. If you’re an employer, you actually have a legal duty to ensure that your employees are properly hydrated. That’s worth bearing in mind!

4. Know what to do if someone becomes ill

It’s not unheard of for people to faint in incredibly hot weather, so if that happens it’s vital that there’s someone nearby who knows what to do. Every workplace, by law, has to have a first-aid officer on hand, but it’s still worth other employees familiarising themselves with some very basic steps (such as clearing the immediate area, or moving the fallen person into a more comfortable position) should an accident occur.

5. Shut the windows and pull down the shades

It’s a common misconception that open windows help cool down a room. In fact, it’s quite the opposite – you could be letting all the cool air out of a room, and the hot air in from outside! Instead, it’s a better idea to close your windows and use shades or reflective materials to keep the place cool. Shutting out the fiercest of the light will also shut out of a lot of the heat, too.

blinds

6. Keep your air conditioning in perfect working order

Your air conditioning system is truly your best friend for keeping a room cool, especially in summer. That’s why it’s always important to get a regular service and maintenance, to ensure that it’s capable of cooling the room when you need it most. Not only does it keep you comfortable (and therefore productive at work), but in helping you avoid the worst effects of heatwaves, it also keeps you safe!

Here at Askews, we employ a crack team of heating and cooling engineers to ensure that your air conditioning unit is kept in top working order. You can click here to get a free quote, or simply give us a call on 01282 863 825 to book your appointment today!

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