Top Tips for Keeping the Office – and Staff – Cool in Hot Weather
The average British summer may not last very long, but it can be very hot and uncomfortable for those stuck in the office. Here, The Gattinetts Business Centre, who offer rural offices to let near Dedham, provide some top tips on how to keep your office and staff cool when the mercury starts to rise.
Air Conditioning and Fans
Not every office will have air conditioning, but adding a desk fan should be feasible for everyone. They can provide some very welcome fresh air even on the hottest of days. However, they do have their downsides. In the days of soaring electricity bills the cost of running them is certainly a factor, as is the noise they generate, which can distract workers from their tasks.
Make sure you turn off all machines when they are not in use because they can add to the build-up of heat as well as add to your electricity bill.
Consider Your Chair Choice
Padded foam chairs, while they may be comfortable in average temperatures, store heat. Mesh chairs are often a better choice, because they promote good airflow. They are also usually fitted with height adjusters, armrests and all the other accessories to help with retaining a good posture.
However, mesh chairs are less comfortable, so you shouldn’t sit in one for the entire working day. Foam chairs are better in this respect, as they don’t create any painful pressure points. Try to swap around, if possible, and certainly take as many breaks as you can.
Other Creature Comforts
Did you know that you have a duty to provide an ‘adequate supply of wholesome drinking water for all persons in the workplace?’ Well, you should do, according to the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations of 1992.
However, in the heat, it may be better to offer them the choice of chilled or ice-cold water (many coolers have the option of a colder setting). Better still, if you can afford one, invest in a fridge freezer as this will keep food cool as well as provide ice when needed.
If it’s a particularly hot day, then think about sending someone out for some ice lollies or ice creams. This will do wonders for staff morale as well as keep people cool.
Relax Any Office Dress Codes
If you do insist on staff wearing collars and ties, or business suits, be prepared to relax this policy in the summer months.
Comfortable, loose-fitting clothing is much better when it starts getting hot (although there may still be occasions when formal attire is needed, such as when a potential client or customer visits the office). Light-coloured clothing is also better than dark clothing because it doesn’t retain heat as much. This can all be written into a company dress code, if you feel the need to have one.
Don’t (Necessarily) Open the Windows
The temptation might be to keep the windows open, but that could just add to the heat. This is because if the temperature is already warmer outside than it is inside then you will lose any cooler air which has built up in the office. It is therefore best to open them at the beginning and towards the end of the working day when it’s likely to be cooler or fresher outside.
Blinds, shutters or sunscreens are other options. These will allow you to leave the windows open but you can adjust the angles of the slats or louvres (panels) so air can still get through, while keeping direct sunlight out. These will also reduce glare on work screens.
The Advantages of Rural Offices
Rural offices shouldn’t really feel the heat as much as inner-city ones. There’s also less noise and light pollution than in a city or town-centre location.
And, at The Gattinetts Business Centre, you are in the heart of Constable Country, so it should be easy enough to find a shady and beautiful spot to relax in your lunch hour, or at the end of the working day.
Post-Covid we also installed a socially-distanced outdoor seating area on site (pictured) so people had somewhere to relax and meet up.
The Gattinetts Business Centre – Rural Offices to Let Near Dedham
Although all of our office spaces and workshops are currently let, you can contact us by following this link and we will put you on our waiting list. We will then inform you when something becomes available. We also offer storage space at our East Bergholt site. The contact details are the same as above.