Summer - some people love it whilst others hate it and eagerly anticipate the nearing of Autumn where cooler weather is guaranteed. Every now and again, heatwaves and unusually prolonged periods of hot weather arise. Working in the heat can be difficult whether you are based at home or in a building but there are some simple and common sense steps that you can take to minimise the discomfort you may be experiencing and to ensure you are working at maximum capacity.
There is no set law that regulates the maximum temperature in regards to working conditions. This is due to some occupations requiring hot conditions because of the nature of their work. However, on a positive note, employers must provide reasonable working temperatures, as set by The Workplace Regulations.
Unfortunately what is deemed as reasonable for one person may not be deemed reasonable for another so always inform your employer if you feel your working conditions are unsatisfactory or dangerous because of the heat and they can assess the situation and then take action if necessary. Unfortunately, air conditioning is not currently a legal requirement but access to fresh air is.
Try and position yourself near a window to take advantage of any breezes and for the fresh air. Keep blinds or curtains closed to keep the glare and heat of the sun away from you. If you find that working nearer to a window is having the opposite effect, then enquire if you can either move your desk or work from a different area temporarily. Stay in shaded areas as much as you can.
Wear loose and light clothing which will help air come into contact with the skin and this in turn assists with keeping you cool.
Rehydrate the fluids lost through sweating. Experts recommend drinking 6-8 cups of water each day which can include water from fruit juices, tea and coffee. Strive to have cool water next to you at all times and drink regularly. Your employer is obliged to provide you with this and you are entitled to drink as much as you require.
Using a fan will help to keep you cool by increasing the rate at how much our bodies lose heat by the fast moving air and no one can deny the satisfying feeling of having a fan blowing onto them.
Take regular breaks from your work if possible and snacking on water based foods will help to keep you hydrated. Fruit and vegetables such as cucumber, watermelon, berries, chilled soups and ice lollies are a good idea for this.
It may come as a surprise but have you been wearing sunscreen indoors? Most experts agree that UV rays can pass through windows so it is important to use it both indoors and outdoors.
Of course, if at any time you begin to feel unwell, you may be suffering from an adverse reaction to the heat so do not delay in informing your employer and seeking medical attention as you could become dangerously ill in a short period of time.
Hopefully, the Summer will not pose too much of a problem. Before you know it, Winter will be here and we will be complaining that it is too cold to work!
Events hosted by The UK Careers Fair will resume on August 4th, starting with Liverpool, Manchester & Milton Keynes. Looking for a career? Be sure to attend our upcoming events, where we give you the opportunity to speak with employers face-to-face.
Check out our full and comprehensive list of upcoming events.