How To Work Comfortably In The Heat
How to work comfortably in the heat
A couple of times a year we are lucky enough in the UK to experience glorious weather. After a short while in the heat however, we soon remember that our buildings aren’t always equipped for hot weather and soon office buildings or home offices can reach upwards of 30 degrees.
When it is hot, your body naturally tries to cool you down. This means that the blood flow increases to the surface of the body and results in sweating. When your body can no longer affectively do this, you can suffer from heat stress. This can lead to muscle cramps, excessive sweating, dehydrating, exhaustion and fainting.
Working in such temperatures can make you uncomfortable and fidgety, not to mention that it makes it increasingly difficult to concentrate. To help with this, we thought we’d give you some helpful hints and tips to enable you to work more comfortably in the heat.
First and foremost, it is important to recognise that you may need to take more breaks than usual when the temperature is increased. If you find yourself becoming restless in the heat, take a few minutes away from your desk – maybe go for a short walk, stand outside for fresh air, go to cooler room, or get a refreshing drink.
Taking more frequent but short breaks will break your time up with affecting your productivity too much.
Set reasonable tasks
It can be difficult to concentrate on taxing jobs when it’s hot in the office. To tackle this, try writing a list at the beginning of the day consisting of manageable tasks that you can get through. That way, your day is broken up by jobs that you can tick off of your list that you may have otherwise left for a later day. This way you will still feel productive and be able to make your way through your workload.
Have a comfortable chair and workstation set up
As ergonomic specialists we of course cannot recommend the benefits of a comfortable workstation set-up enough. Being unusually hot whilst working is already difficult enough let alone if your chair is not supporting you or you have not got the correct equipment for your job role. Here are some tips to make sure your workstation can be set up as comfortably as possible:
- If using the phone a lot, get a headrest to prevent unnecessary reaching
- Try alternating your position and stand for twenty minutes out of every hour if possible
- Opt for a chair with lumbar (to support your lower back)
- If using a laptop, you should have it on a laptop riser and should also be using a separate keyboard and mouse
- Your knees should be slightly lower than your hips to create an open angle
- Make sure your feet touch the floor – if they don’t get a footrest
If you’re struggling with working comfortably, we can carry out DSE assessments to ensure everyone within the workplace can work comfortably.
Drink lots of water
It goes without saying that drinking lots of water on a hot day keeps you hydrated. Staying hydrated also helps with concentration and tiredness. It is recommended that you drink three to four litres of water a day. A good idea is to set reminders throughout the day so you know when to reach for your drink.
Try and manage your environment
Blocking out the sun prevents direct heat entering the room. Drawing the blinds or pulling the curtains on stops this and keeps the room you are working in shaded. Air conditioning or fans are of course an added benefit to circulate cool air around the room.
There are a few ways you can reduce your body temperature if you feel yourself getting too hot in the office. A cooling spray is always handy to have by your desk – those which contain menthol are particularly good for tricking your brain into cooling you down.
You can also run your wrists under cold water as this is where your blood vessels are close to the surface of your skin. Doing this is a great way to achieve a quick temperature change and make you feel more comfortable.
We all know how difficult it can be to work in the heat and being as comfortable as possible goes a long way to improving your productivity, not to mention wellbeing in the workplace.
If you need any assistance when it comes to setting up a comfortable workstation, get in touch with the team and we’d be more than happy to help.