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How to prepare your office for summer

How to prepare your office for summer

As the summer months approach, temperatures rise, and this can be a great reason behind a summer office refresh and fit-out. Keeping employees comfortable isn’t just a matter of courtesy but also of productivity and health — especially in warmer weather. 


The challenge of maintaining a conducive work environment during the hotter months can be daunting, but with thoughtful preparation, businesses can ensure their employees remain productive and comfortable at all times. So, how can you do this with the help of an office fit-out service?


1. Implement air conditioning

The most direct method for cooling an office environment is through air conditioning. Effective air conditioning systems not only cool the air but also help in regulating the office’s humidity levels, creating a more comfortable working environment. 

It’s important to have your air conditioning units serviced before the peak of summer to ensure they are operating efficiently and effectively. Consider programmable thermostats to maintain optimal temperatures throughout the day without constant manual adjustment.

If you’re installing a new system, explore energy-efficient models that can reduce electricity costs while still providing excellent cooling capabilities. In addition to this, investing in good-quality air filters can also enhance your office’s air quality, reducing potential allergens and pollutants.


2. Encourage hydration

Staying hydrated is crucial during hot weather, as dehydration can lead to decreased cognitive function and physical performance. To encourage regular water intake, consider installing several water stations throughout the office. These should be easily accessible and well-maintained. Providing reusable water bottles or encouraging employees to bring their own can also promote hydration while supporting environmental sustainability.

Adding flavoured water or infusing pitchers with fruits like lemon, lime, or cucumber can make drinking water more appealing. Regular reminders via emails or posters about the importance of hydration can also help in keeping everyone well-hydrated.


3. Introduce indoor plants

Indoor plants are more than just decorative — they are also known to improve indoor air quality by absorbing toxins and producing oxygen. They can also enhance the aesthetic of the office and provide a refreshing visual touch that can boost morale and creativity.

Choose plants that thrive indoors and require minimal maintenance, such as snake plants, peace lilies, or philodendrons. These plants are not only effective at cleaning the air but are also hardy and less likely to require intensive care. Incorporating plants into a new office fit-out can create a more inviting and relaxing environment, which can be particularly beneficial during stressful, busy periods.


4. Offer flexible work hours and remote working options

Summer heat can peak at certain times of the day, particularly in the early afternoon. Offering flexible working hours can allow employees to avoid commuting during the hottest parts of the day or the option to commute to work during cooler hours. For roles that do not require a physical presence in the office, consider implementing or continuing remote work policies.

On days when heat advisories are in effect, allowing employees to work from home can prevent the physical discomfort and health risks associated with travelling and working in extreme heat. This flexibility not only prioritises the well-being of employees but can also prevent productivity dips. 

It’s also great during the school holidays – offering flexible work hours or the option for remote work can benefit employees who are parents. This flexibility allows them to better manage childcare while maintaining their professional responsibilities, reducing stress and supporting a healthier work-life balance during the summer months.


5. Adjust the office layout and lighting

During summer, direct sunlight can increase the temperature of your office. Managing how sunlight enters the office can significantly impact internal temperatures. Use blinds or curtains to block out direct sunlight during the peak hours of the day. 

If it’s feasible, rearrange workstations or undergo a complete office fit-out so that employees aren’t sitting directly under the harsh glare of the sun, which can also cause eye strain and discomfort.

Opt for LED lights that emit less heat compared to traditional bulbs. These small changes in the office layout and lighting can contribute significantly to maintaining cooler, and more comfortable, office environments.


6. Continue to educate and communicate

Education and communication are key in ensuring that all these measures are effective. Hold a brief session or send out communications detailing the changes being implemented for the summer and the rationale behind them. 

Incorporating mental health education and promoting an open door policy can also greatly support these efforts. Educating employees about the importance of mental well-being, especially during stressful or uncomfortable conditions like extreme heat, is crucial. 


7. Implement cooling breaks and dress code flexibility

Another strategy to keep the office environment comfortable during the summer is to introduce cooling breaks. 

These are short, regular intervals where employees can step away from their desks to cool down, which can be particularly beneficial on extremely hot days.

In addition to this, implementing a flexible dress code during hot days allows your employees to wear lighter, more breathable clothing, which can significantly enhance comfort and maintain productivity in warmer temperatures.


8. Upgrade your office equipment

Heat generation from office equipment can significantly affect the ambient temperature of a workspace. Upgrading to newer, more energy-efficient models can reduce this heat output. For instance, modern computers and monitors often come with energy-saving features that minimise heat production. 


9. Organise summer engagement activities

Engaging employees with summer-specific activities can keep the office atmosphere lively and enjoyable. Organising events such as picnics, outdoor team-building exercises, or after-work gatherings can make the summer months something employees look forward to. These activities can also strengthen team bonds and improve your overall workplace culture.


Get your office summer ready with SLP Interiors

At SLP Interiors, we understand the importance of a comfortable and productive office environment, especially during the summer. With over 30 years of experience in bespoke office fit-outs in Bristol, we specialise in creating spaces that are not only aesthetically pleasing but are also optimised for the warmer season.

Whether it’s installing energy-efficient air conditioning systems, updating your office layout to enhance natural cooling, or incorporating plants for improved air quality, we have the expertise to make your office summer-ready.

To get a quote or to discuss how we can tailor your office for the summer, get in touch with us today.