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Did you have an air con war during the heatwave?

Are you breathing a sigh of relief now it is a shade cooler or hankering after another heatwave? Here we hear from those who have loved summer 2018 and why, and offer some hot tips for dealing with the heat should temperatures soar again in August.

Fun and games

David Ingram, managing director at agency Bring Digital, has found the heatwave has generally had a positive effect on his team: “It's provided great opportunities to grow some organic relationships – the hot weather meant we could get out for a game of rounders or grab some ice creams at lunchtime, which we wouldn't normally do when it's dull and cold out.“

Coping mechanisms

However, people may not have kept their cool so well if certain steps had not been taken: “We operate a flexitime policy, which was utilised differently in the hot weather – because of the hot nights, people found it easier to get up early, so they'd often clock in at maybe 7.30 or 8 am and leave earlier to enjoy the evening sun with friends and family.

“We're lucky enough to have air conditioning in our office, so the heat didn't have any negative impact on productivity. I think it helps that we don't have a strict dress code, either -- people that walked to work could wear shorts so they weren't uncomfortably hot by the time they got to the office.” 

Sleepless nights

Ingram says the heat did have its drawbacks: “I'd say the worst things about the hot days was probably that I lost some sleep at night thanks to a lack of air conditioning at home, which inevitably does take a toll on concentration the day after. I suppose the other thing is that when it's hot, you find yourself having drinks after work a lot more often, which for anyone who doesn't normally drink during the week like myself can make it more difficult to get a proper night's sleep.”

First Person

Air-con rage

One big fan of the June/July hot spell is Harriet King, senior client executive at agency Milk and Honey PR: “As an August baby, I love the sun and so do my colleagues. However, with the air con on full blast at times, some of us have took to wearing scarves and jumpers in the office – office air-con wars must have been raging across the country.”

King also extols the fact that warm weather gets everyone outside: “I feel more motivated walking to work with a spring in my step and feeling fresh and ready to start the day before our morning media review. The hot weather also encourages us to take a break and eat outside, away from our desks. Lunchtime has become our time to top up the tan and catch up about life outside of work.

“With an Italian on the team, who spent over ten years of her life in Kenya, it's hard to avoid brainstorming or hosting creative sessions outside! Some of our greatest ideas have come from simply sitting on the benches outside our offices tucking into our lunch.” 

Ice-cream time

To help everyone stay cool, you can’t go wrong with a ice lolly! “When the temperature reaches 25 and above, the office managers of our shared work space come round with a basket of ice lolly goodies. Calyppos, Magnums, Twisters – the lot. Not forgetting to mention the new addition to our hive – the wine fridge! Which is kept topped up for Friday fizz and celebrations.”

Hot tips for keeping your cool

From Jonathan Dungan, marketing executive at mobile app 247meeting:

  • Avoid the office during the evening heat – get into the office a few hours early to get things done during the cooler morning air.
  • Get a USB desk fan – they’re a dime a dozen these days and they’re actually a lifesaver.
  • Avoid coffee – easier said than done for most, but caffeine can make you jittery causing additional heat and stress.
  • Dress appropriately –explain to your employer that you can accomplish a lot more when you’re cooler. If you’re facing clients, bring a spare set of clothes.
  • Get out – in my experience, it’s best to get out in the sun and acclimatise yourself which in turn improves your general mood too.

Some of you may be longing for the shorter and cooler days of autumn. Well I suppose it takes all sorts, myself, I’m off outside to enjoy some sunshine whilst it lasts.

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