A balmy workplace slows productivity–and positivity–to a crawl. Until the HVAC Angel can make repairs, these tricks will reduce the degrees and keep everyone as cool as possible.
1. Cross ventilate
Don’t just throw open windows willy-nilly, silly. Open the windows that get the most direct breeze and encourage it with a fan. Then open windows or doors that lead to the opposite side of the space, and point fans out to serve as exhaust and keep the air moving on a constant path.
2. Close off rooms and offices that aren’t in use
Any space that isn’t in the vent path and isn’t needed should be shut down. If heat has room to spread out, it will.
3. Shut out the sun
Solar energy is hot. Close the blinds or curtains to keep the heat sources to a minimum.
4. Switch up the ceiling fan
According to Energy Star, ceiling fans have a “wind-chill” effect when they are spinning counter-clockwise. Check all ceiling fans and adjust accordingly.
5. Dim the lights
Incandescent lights give off heat, so unless you use fluorescents, turn off as many lights as you can.
6. Open the windows at night
Crack the windows and leave the ventilation fans on to bring in the cool night air. Close them first thing in the morning to keep the morning heat out as long as possible. Check out these Crime Prevention Website tips on how to secure windows left open at night.
7. Every fan for himself
Large fans are great for creating the cross breeze, but too many of them will generate heat and defeat the purpose. A small personal fan on a desk with a bowl of ice (or a frozen ice pack if you’re conserving water) resting in front of it creates a constant cool breeze.
8. Declare a casual day
If shorts and sleeveless styles aren’t usually okay, break the rules for the day. Give your employees a heat heads-up and tell them to dress for comfort.
Stock up on cooling towels that can be draped over necks and wrists to cool body temperatures.
10. Cool treats are good for morale
As the day heads into the afternoon, the heat is going to rise. There’s not much you can do to prevent that. A pitcher of infused ice water or a surprise popsicle break will cool off moods when the 3pm slump rolls around.
A proactive, “we’re in this together” attitude is an empowering way to get through the day. If it’s possible to close up shop even an hour early, create a list of the things that must get done and work as a team to check them off so you can all cool your heels and come back refreshed in the morning.