It is wonderful weather, isn’t it? Except that you’re not enjoying a beer on a terrace, but you’re in your office, working, and it is 28°C. Nice if you’d be sitting on a terrace, unbearable when you’re trying to get through those papers. How can you keep your head cool?
An ideal office temperature is between 20 and 24°C. However, on sunny days, many offices are much hotter than that. A study of the University of Helsinki shows that we become less productive once temperatures go above 25°C, to the point of becoming drowsy. Wearing light clothes can help a bit, and drinking cool water certainly does, but better still is to keep the heat outside.
How to avoid too high temperatures in your office?
On hot days, you may be tempted to open a window and let a breeze come in. Unfortunately, that may have the opposite effect: more hot air will be entering your office. The result? Even higher temperatures inside and declining productivity. Fortunately, better solutions do exist.
Air-conditioning in the office
Air-conditioning allows you to keep temperatures stable indoors. Air-conditioning systems are easy to operate; you find them in many big buildings and shopping centers. They do have drawbacks, though. In Summer, they cause big differences in temperature between outside and inside. Many people have difficulties coping with and catch a cold. Also, air-conditioning systems require regular maintenance. Dirty air-conditioning filters can be a real pain to persons suffering from allergies. Air-conditioning also consumes a lot of energy. The cost goes up with the temperature outside, unless you would also invest in solar panels.
The most efficient way by far to keep temperatures comfortable is to block the sunrays from entering your office in the first place. Good sun-protection (or sunscreens) does precisely that: it prevents the sunrays from entering your office, whilst still giving you unrestricted views outside.
Sun-protection can be fully automated: a touch of a button, your smartphone or a sensor-steered system, you decide which system best suits your need. When there is too much sunlight, the screens go down; in case of strong winds or storm, they go up. Sunscreens require very little maintenance. They come in different colours, adapted to your taste and to your building. And you can even decide whether the fabric should block a lot of light or just a little.
You can install sun screens on new buildings or on existing buildings. One screen can cover widths or heights up to 6 meters. And your energy bill will quickly become so much lighter!
Extra tips to keep a cool head
You haven’t had any sun protection installed yet? Here is some advice to keep a cool head.
Water, water, water
Drink a lot of water, especially on hot days. You sweat more and you risk dehydrating. This causes headaches, dizziness and tiredness, which is even more annoying when you want to work. Make a habit of putting a bottle of water and a glass on your desk. That will help you remember to drink on a regular basis. Do you need some extra cooling? Vaporizing water is cheap and does wonders.
Preferably wear linen or cotton clothes. Try and avoid synthetic fabrics; they feel warm and they don’t breathe well. If it is cool in the morning, wear layers. You can always remove a layer in case it becomes too warm during the day.
Eat light meals with lots of succulent vegetables such as cucumber, salad, etc. Meat shouldn’t be at the top of your list in Summer as digesting animal proteins requires a lot of energy from your body.