Yes, I know that Summer in the UK can last for about 3 days, so I may be getting ahead of myself here, but given the recent flurry of warmer weather, I just wanted to share a few top tips to keep productivity up and heat fatigue risk low when you are working in an office this Summer. If you work from home and don’t have a nice air-conditioned office, it can get pretty miserable cooped up with all your electrical equipment, so anything you can do to make your daily routine a little more comfortable is a win! Here are my top tips:
1. Dress in layers – wear breathable fabrics such as cotton to keep cool and comfortable. If possible, avoid wearing synthetic materials like polyester or nylon which can trap body heat and make you feel even hotter. If you’re having Zoom calls and want to look smart, a pale cotton shirt can keep you cool and comfy, and nobody needs to know if you’re wearing shorts under the desk!
2. Keep blinds closed during the day, if possible. This will block out unwanted sunlight and help keep your office cooler. Admittedly, it’s not huge amounts of fun being stuck in a dark room all day, so make sure to take regular breaks and actually get outside and see the sky once in a while! This also provides a chance to get some fresh air, give your eyes a rest and take a mental break from work – all good things!
3. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day and avoid sugary drinks which can make you feel sluggish. Eating small snacks throughout the day can also help keep your energy levels up and combat heat fatigue.
4. Keep a fan on your desk or near your workspace to provide a cool breeze and keep air circulating, making it easier to focus and stay productive during the hotter months. If you are distracted and/or annoyed easily, you may want to opt for a quiet one, so it could be worth asking colleagues or retail staff about their recommendations.
5. Try to work during cooler parts of the day such as early morning or late evening when temperatures are lower outside and inside the office. If the hot weather makes you sleepy, this also gives you the chance for a siesta if you need one – very continental!
6. Lastly, make sure you have a comfortable chair with adequate back support in order to stay productive during long hours in front of your computer. A good chair will help keep your posture correct and help prevent unwelcome aches and pains caused by sitting for hours in a hot office.
I know this isn’t really a home office survival tip, but if the weather is just too gorgeous to sit inside and you have a laptop, you could consider sitting outside with it in a box – the cube storage boxes from IKEA are ideal for this! However, if you can move your working hours a little to give you time to enjoy the outdoors properly, you can sit outside unhindered by electronics, which is the ideal way to enjoy Summer in Britain (however long it lasts)!