British weather doesn’t often get warm enough to need air conditioning, which is why many businesses forgo the expense. However, when we do get a heatwave, it can be a challenge for business leaders to keep their staff cool and working productively.
Air conditioning can also be a significant contributor to carbon emissions for a business, so it is crucial to find ways to keep your office space cool while minimising your impact on the environment.
Keep the blinds down
Keeping the blinds down can prevent the sun from warming up your office. You could invest in shutters for your windows which are most effective at keeping the heat out of the office. It may also help to get reflective window film for the outer side of your windows. This will ensure that the light and warmth from the sun is reflected away from your office.
Allow flexibility in the office dress code
It would help if you had some flexibility in your office dress code. If you are a customer-facing business, this can be challenging, so you should give your employees some guidelines on what you can wear to the office. It will help to provide as much flexibility as possible. For instance, you could allow open-toed shoes and sandals and short sleeve shirts and blouses when the weather is set to reach above a specific temperature.
Get a water cooler
A water cooler is an ideal way to give your whole staff access to cold water. Encourage your staff to use the cooler as often as they want. Keeping pulse points cool is an excellent way to get instant relief from the heat. It would help to encourage your staff to use the cooler for this purpose as well.
You should buy a good quality water cooler that will last and have a minimal impact on the environment. Check out these water coolers from CoolerAid for an idea of the quality you should be looking for.
Offer flexible working hours
It may help to make plans for summer heatwaves by establishing flexible working hours. For example, you could allow your employees to come to work earlier to get the bulk of their work done before the worst heat of the day. Similarly, you could give your employees the chance to work later after the hottest part of the day has finished.
Keep windows closed
This may seem counter-intuitive, but opening your windows during the hottest part of the day will actually make your office feel hotter. This is because an open window will let in the hotter outside air negating any cool air you’ve managed to build up.
Turn off any unnecessary electronics
The more machines you have switched on and working throughout the day, the more internal heat will build up. Combined with the heat from the sun, your office will quickly become oven-like. You should switch off any computer or appliance that isn’t currently being used. This will help reduce the heat in the office and save you money on your electricity bills.