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How to stay warm when your office is freezing

Offices aren’t always warm and toasty! Temperature management and control over the heating is a delicate art in the chillier months, which means that some employees may end up shivering over their keyboards. Open-plan offices where there are large open spaces and draughts can also be cold in winter. And if your office is in an old building with very little in the way of insulation, it often won’t be warm.

Minimum workplace temperatures

Your employer has a duty of care to ensure the workplace is the right temperature. The minimum acceptable temperature in a workplace (according to HSE guidelines) is 16 degrees Celsius. However, that is quite cold if you are used to a home that’s around 21 degrees, so you may end up shivering before lunchtime. Staying warm is important. Our cognitive function slows down when we are cold, and it is virtually impossible to type when your fingers are frozen stiff. Here are some handy tips to help you keep frostbite at bay.

Wear extra layers

Some would argue that there is no such thing as a cold office – only a person not wearing enough clothes. There is an element of truth in this statement. In the good old days, before we had central heating, people wore more clothes. You can learn from this by layering up. Wear lots of thin layers, so you can discard some if you get too hot when the boss asks you to jog up to the 10th floor to do some filing.

Drink hot drinks or eat a spicy lunch

tea in office

Lots of us are encouraged to drink plenty of hot tea and coffee in winter. Hot drinks help to keep us warm when it’s cold. If the office is freezing cold, you have a good excuse to take regular tea and coffee breaks. The downside is that you’ll need extra toilet breaks to compensate.

And this is a bit unorthodox, but might be worth a try! Pop out to the local Indian or Thai restaurant during your lunch hour. A hot and spicy meal helps boost the metabolism, which in turn keeps you warm. If you can’t stand spicy food, a large hot meal will have the same effect.

Turn off the air conditioning

Is your desk located underneath an air conditioning vent? If so, you might be colder than everyone else, especially if the majority like it cooler in the office. Try moving to a different desk, preferably one next to a heater. Otherwise, wear a hat and bring a blanket to work to protect your legs from cold draughts.

Bring in a heat pad or go for a lunchtime walk

Bring a heat pad into work and sit on it to stay nice and warm. Heat pads for gloves are also useful, although stick to fingerless gloves so you can still type or use touch screens. And it may be cold outside, but a brisk walk will get your blood moving and warm you up nicely. And when you come back to the office, it will feel positively tropical!

Here at Askews, we have over two decades of experience in heating, cooling and ventilation services, making us the perfect people to help you look after the temperature in your office. Click here for a free quote, or give us a call on 01282 863 825.

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