How to survive the office in the summer

Let the sun shine in

Natural light is a brilliant (though sometimes rare) resource in any office environment. Vitamin D has enriching powers that improve moral and increase productivity.

Bringing the outside in can simply mean reconfiguring your office so that as many people as possible benefit from the light, improving the collective sense of freedom and wellbeing. If you’re watching your own back only, bag yourself a window seat so that on sunny days you will feel enriched by the light rather than being left frustrated by being kept away from it.

Bringing the outside in can also reach rather more grand scales. The atrium of Google’s London HQ designed by the expert team at Peldon Rose, features a mini Hyde Park set-up, complete with grass, trees, boating lake and boat. Come rain or shine, the impressive atrium certainly ensures employees feel connected with the outdoors.

Let’s go outside

We all remember outdoor lessons at school. Anarchic, unruly and fun, they were a rare treat when the temperature gauge somehow went over 25c.  Conducting meetings outdoors can have much the same effect, and because we’re not seven-years-old anymore they can be a whole lot more productive. Everyone enjoys those outdoor vibes, and by relaxing in the sun whilst you work can unlock the creative juices. That’s why conducting a meeting en plein air is just as good an idea as it sounds!

Going overground

Summer is the perfect time of year to wake up early and seize the day. Ditch the crammed, sweaty commute in favour of a walk or cycle into work. Exposure to the natural light helps you feel more awake, while the moderate exercise will get the endorphins flowing – the perfect start to a day’s work.

Stay cool

Setting the air conditioning to make everyone happy is a delicate balancing act. Someone’s always freezing, someone else will huff that they are too hot, and you’ll always get one rascal reaching for the window. Remain calm; arm yourself with knowledge.

According to occupational health experts, the optimum temperature for any office is between 21-24c, with humidity at around 50 per cent. The minimum fresh-air rate should be 10 litres per second per person and the optimum air movement should be 0.1-0.5 metres per second. This is need-to-know information when you are acting as peacekeeper in a dispute over the best setting for the air conditioning.