Extremely hot weather can create a problem for staff, even in modern offices. Here Thames Contracts, who specialise in high-end office design in Enfield and the surrounding area, offer some top tips on how sensible planning can keep employees cool and productive, even when the mercury is rising.
Cover Large Windows
Although the health benefits of workers getting plenty of natural light are well known (it helps our bodies produce Vitamin D, improves our sleep patterns and generally makes us happier), large windows can create their own problems during long periods of hot weather.
This is because they effectively act as suntraps heating up the office and employees. This month, the Met Office advised keeping windows – and curtains – closed. This is because it was so hot outside that having either open would just bring the hot temperatures inside.
So make sure windows are well covered, either with curtains (although these can fade), shutters or blinds. These may be preferable as you can still adjust the angle of the louvres, particularly with shutters, ensuring air can still circulate, but without the accompanying glare.
Opening windows in the evening (if you have a late shift) when the air temperature has cooled will also help to keep the air circulating and your office cooler.
Install the Air Conditioning
This is an essential tool in keeping any office temperature cool. However, there have been plenty of modern technological advances so it doesn’t need to come on at a preset time.You may be able to control it from a mobile device, thanks to smart technology, ensuring it’s only on as and when you need it. This could be particularly important given the rise in energy prices.
It may also be possible to fit a geothermal heating and cooling system such as a heat pump, which the Government is keen to promote as a sustainable technology. This will help reduce your business’s carbon footprint as there is no direct combustion involved.
Talk to Thames Contracts to see if this is feasible during your office refurbishment or refit.
Prepare to Hot-Desk
Some areas of the office can be sun traps, exposing some workers to more than their fair share of sun and heat.
The answer is to either have portable desks (which we can sort out at the design stage) or to hot desk. It also means having plenty of room on the office floor, which Thames will be able take account of at the design stage. Alternatively, it may mean moving workers to parts of the office which are cooler, even if it means hot-desking.
Even if it’s warmer outside, try to make sure employees have somewhere to go during their breaks. The fresh air will do them good, even if it is hot. This includes outdoor areas that are covered by natural shade, parasols or umbrellas.
Other items can be installed as well at the design stage, such as intelligent electronic design that switches off some devices when they aren’t being used. Even electrical items on standby generate some heat, not to mention increase your energy bills.
As for water coolers, make sure these have the option of a chilled temperature, not just room temperature. This will help workers stay properly refreshed and hydrated in the heat.
And remember there are other things you can do too that are not specifically part of office design, such as introducing a relaxed dress code. For example, men need not be forced to wear ties and jackets. Also, let your employees have more regular breaks during the summer.
Office Design in Enfield from Thames Contracts
If you are interested in high-end office design in Enfield, Borehamwood, Hitchin, or anywhere across Hertfordshire and North London, give Thames Contracts a call.
Whether you are having a refurbishment or a complete refit, we will help make sure your office is as cool as it needs to be (as well as keeping it warm in winter). We will have an initial meeting with you to discuss your thoughts and priorities. After this, we will come up with a design brief followed by a fully costed design, with 3D images if required.
We will project-manage the whole process from start to finish, scheduling our tried and trusted network of tradespeople to come in at convenient times, and making sure all the utilities are connected.
Thames have a reputation for completing all our projects on time and on budget, without compromising our extremely high standards.
We also fit offer shop and marine fitouts, as well as bar refurbishments, across London and in Hertfordshire. If you would like to learn more about any of our services, follow this link,/a> and fill in the online contact form. Alternatively, you can call us directly on 020 8368 0045.