Getting a “heat day”?
We’re really seeing the best of the German summer this year. Which is great if you’re on holiday… and unbearable if you are (literally) stuck to your office chair, without an official “heat day” off. Luckily, HelloFreshGO has some tips for surviving the heatwave in the office.
Diving into the pool, warm evenings and cold beers, basking by the water – this summer would be perfect if only you had the time off. But for a lot of workers, it’s a different story. Many offices get so hot that it’s almost impossible to get anything useful done – and that’s even with air conditioning.
When the air temperature hits 30 degrees, concentration and performance crash and are often replaced by headaches and dizziness. But there’s still an eight-hour working day to get through. HelloFreshGo has picked the best tactics for surviving the extreme heat – and has the official verdict on when your boss must declare a “heat day” off.
1. Keep the windows closed
When we feel hot, our first instinct is to open a window – but in summer, that’s a mistake. The outside temperature tends to be even higher, so an open window lets in hotter air. Opening windows provides ventilation early in the morning or in the evening, but that’s not much help from 9 to 5.
2. Keep the blinds down
The best way to block the sun – and the heat – is to lower or tilt the blinds or draw the curtains in the morning. It means a lot less direct sunlight in the office, but at least the room stays cooler.
3. Starting earlier and working from home
Morning temperatures are lower than in the afternoon. So it makes sense to get to the office earlier because, of course, you can then leave earlier. Or, you could work mornings in the office and schedule your key meetings for the first half of the day. Then you could work from home for the afternoon if your manager is OK with that.
4. Choose the right outfit
Obviously, beachwear at the office isn’t an option, but you can still choose lighter clothes. Cotton and linen are great summer fabrics; polyester (and synthetics generally) tend to trap perspiration.
For instant relief from the heat in the office, switch on the fan. But be careful not to blow cold air across your forehead or face; a constant draught of air can lead to a summer cold. Instead, let the fan cool your upper body.
6. Keep the back of your neck cool
If you urgently need to cool off, put a cool, damp cloth or a hand-towel on the back of your neck. Instant, soothing relief that doesn’t disturb your colleagues!
7. “Heat Day” at the office
When indoor temperatures hit 30⁰C, your boss is required to take measures to make staff more comfortable. This might involve bringing in an air conditioning unit or turning on the fans. It’s also compulsory to relax any rules on workwear such as those that stipulate wearing a suit or tie.
If the air temperature rises above 35⁰C, it’s legally too hot to work. However, you still need permission from your boss or your employee representative before you can go home.