Keep Your Cool: How to Handle An Uncomfortable Work Environment

With summer temperatures already soaring here in Central Florida, keeping cool is on just about everyone’s mind.  From sunscreen and shade at the local splash park here in Lakeland, to keeping your AC running at its best when you’re at home, Floridians know all about keeping their cool.  Until, that is, it comes to their work environment. While most employers do their best to keep their staff comfortable as much as possible in the workplace, sometimes you might be less than pleased with the temperature or comfort level of your office, and that can make the work day long and miserable.  Perhaps it’s your boss’s doing, or perhaps you have your own personal reasons for the discomfort (like a health issue) but whatever the culprit, being too hot (or too cold) at work can cause problems.

So, how do you manage without offending your boss and putting your job at risk?

  • Try altering your own personal space.  If your office is sweltering but your boss just doesn’t want to turn down that thermostat, consider making your own personal cubicle space more comfortable with a small, desktop fan, or (if you have your own individual office) a larger fan or personal AC unit.  As long as your personal preferences aren’t affecting anyone else, and don’t impact the power bill too much, your employer shouldn’t have a problem with you making yourself a little more comfortable.  If your office is on the chilly side, the same concept applies to small under-the-desk heaters.
  • Consider your wardrobe choices.  If you know your office tends to be stifling by the middle of the day, you might not want to opt for long pants and sweaters during the summer months.  You can maintain professional dress and still be cool. Choose skirts to allow better airflow to your legs, and opt for modest blouses that are still business-appropriate, but also offer breathability.  Dresses, as long as they are appropriate for work-wear and aren’t in bold, obnoxious patterns or colors, can also be a good choice since they help you stay cool more than pantsuits or separate pieces.  Again, if your office is cool, carry a lightweight sweater with you to work to slip on when the AC cranks up.
  • Try approaching your boss (respectfully).  Are you the only one suffering in the office?  If that’s the case, and your coworkers don’t seem to be bothered by the temperature at work, you might want to mitigate the situation on your own and do your best to make yourself comfortable but not bring attention to the issue.  If it’s a staff-wide issue though, and everyone is complaining, it could be worth approaching management or your employer and respectfully letting them know about wheat’s going on.  Oftentimes they will be willing to work with you to make the situation work best for everyone involved.

We hope this helps you manage the hot summer months here in Polk County as you head to work each day.  Reading this from your couch at home?  While we can’t help you with the comfort level there, we can help you with your job hunt.  Give us a call for more information about how we work with you to find your perfect position, or apply for one of our current openings online.