With the longest heat wave ever measured in the Netherlands, it has been very hot for days. Temperatures of 33 degrees are no exception. During a heat wave, you are not immediately ready to go to work, but what about the working conditions and what can you do as an entrepreneur to make it as pleasant as possible for employees? The University of California has calculated that the most ideal temperature in an office environment is 22 degrees Celsius. If it is warmer than 25 degrees Celsius, the performance per degree decreases by 2 percent. At 30 degrees, this means a productivity loss of 10 percent. In this blog we list a number of tips for you to make working conditions as pleasant as possible.
1. Set a tropical weather schedule
Adjust the work schedule if possible. For example, let employees start earlier and stop earlier. Another option is that employees start earlier and take more breaks. Thanks to this adjustment, employees can prevent them from working at the hottest moment or being in a too hot environment for too long.
Fans provide cooling in the workplace and can help in maintaining concentration. The cost of purchasing a pair of fans is negligible, while the fan can contribute to labour productivity. In this way, the investment is quickly earned back again and you create a pleasant working environment.
3. Sufficient air flows
If possible, open windows and doors against each other. This will create a draft and and keep fresh air flow through the room.
4. Use blinds
By using sun protection, the worst heat is kept out. Keeping out the sun's rays significantly reduces the temperature.
5. Change clothing prescription
When employees are obliged to work in a black shirt, it may make a difference to the temperature if employees can work in a white t-shirt or wear light clothing on hot days. Wearing shorts to the office, in the year 2018, should certainly be possible.
6. Drink enough
However, do not drink ice cold water, for example herbal tea is better. Cold drinks cause your body temperature to drop temporarily, so your brain thinks your body needs to heat up again. The result is that you get even warmer.
It is therefore best to drink lukewarm / hot tea or water.
7. Eat fruit
You sweat more on hot days. By perspiring the heat is driven out of your body and you cool down from the inside. During sweating you lose moisture, but also electrolytes (salts) that need to be supplemented. Fortunately, there are enough types of fruit that can supplement this moisture and salt deficiency. The best fruit for this is the watermelon. But regualr melon, apples, mangos, bananas, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and black currants are also excellent cooling foods.
No excuse not to work
There is no legal excuse for throwing it away. There are general guidelines to determine whether the temperature at work is not too high and when measures should be taken, but there are therefore no further consequences. These are described on the Working Conditions Portal of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment.
Guidelines for temperature in the office
The guidelines on the Working Conditions Portal are as follows:
In the summer, the ideal temperature is between 23 and 26 degrees Celsius.
Is it warmer than 26 degrees? Then there is an additional physical burden and measures are not a superfluous luxury.
The maximum temperature at which you can work with "light physical office work" is 28 degrees.
A maximum of 26 degrees applies to "intensive physical exerting work", but if there is "no noticeable airflow", this maximum is one degree lower.
For "very physically strenuous work" this maximum temperature is 25 degrees, but without clearly perceptible air flow it is 23 degrees.