Coping with hot weather at work: 5 tips to stay chill
With temperatures surging and a heat wave raging on, office workers come in two categories: the lucky ones, who are off on holiday, and those summer remainers, whose daily lot consists of air-con-induced squabbles with the colleagues. To prevent temperature-adjusting from turning nasty, you can always use the following tips to keep a cool head while the heat is bearing down outside.
Heat inevitably comes with… sweat. To counter this as best you can, banish your polyester garments to the back of your wardrobe and bring out your cotton and linen blends instead. With their breathable and sweat-wicking properties, they’ll help you stay dry in the office and prevent you from turning into a sticky mess. To verify whether your outfit of the day is your friend or foe, just check the label: natural fabrics are fine, whereas anything man-made (polyester, nylon etc) is a riskier bet. More obvious but worth mentioning: flowy garments and light colours are always a safe option, and if you’re lucky enough to have a workplace that’s fine with casualwear, a pair of sandals or even flip-flops* can be a life-saver in the heat.
*our boss approves. In fact, it’s not uncommon for him to sport a pair himself
We all know to increase our water intake in the heat, but honestly, who drinks their 8 recommended glasses of water a day? French officials have even suggested upping quantities to a glass every 15 to 20 minutes! While drinking regularly can be seen as tiresome, keeping yourself hydrated is key when dealing with the heat, as it helps prevent heat exhaustion and other heat-related ailments.
Attending a leaving party with your colleagues? However tempting it might be to quench your thirst with a pint or two, it can lead to dehydration. Why not put your mixologist skills to work by whipping up a batch of cucumber-infused water instead? It’s easy to make, full of minerals and vitamins, and it’ll do you good in the heat (though there are no guaranties the party will be as wild).
Close the shutters, pull down the blinds, bring out your inner vampire and do everything you can to prevent any rays of sun penetrate the office walls. While opening windows might seem like a good idea, you’ll actually be doing more harm than good, the breeze you’re creating will only serve to let hot air into the building. If you’ve got any choice in the matter, it’s always best to open windows in the morning and once the sun has gone down.
- Dizziness, weak spells
- Feeling disoriented
- Incoherent speech
If any of these symptoms occur during a heatwave, contact your GP immediately. They could be the sign of an underlying condition (heat exhaustion, heatstroke…)
If one of your co-workers is feeling unwell be sure to do the following, without delay:
- Inform your workplace’s first-aider, if one has been designated within your company
- Contact emergency services by calling 999
- Make sure to provide them with water, have them take at least a few sips. Keep them in a cool spot and provide ventilation when possible
- Loosen and/or remove any clothing that may be cutting off or restricting their circulation
- Lower their core temperature with a wet towel or by spritzing them with water
If you or one of your colleagues is showing signs of a heat-related illness, be wary, as other co-workers may also be affected.