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Summer: 10 tips to keep your office cool

The summer is all about sun and high temperatures. But especially for people working outdoors, it can also pose a health risk. The result is sun- and heat-related sick leave: 40,000 absent days in 2017, and the trend is rising.

More than 40,000 absent days were counted in Germany in 2017 due to high temperatures and sunlight. A total of 12,000 employees were absent from their jobs due to the sun or heat. That is according to the federal government’s answer to a small question from the Left Party in the Bundestag. As reported by “Die Zeit” with reference to the German Press Agency, Jutta Krellmann (Die Linke), a member of the Bundestag, notes that this figure doubled between 2008 and 2017.

Even if it feels appropriate these days – there is no “heat-free law” in Germany. What is stipulated, however, is that the air temperature in workrooms “shall not exceed +26 °C”. If it exceeds 30 degrees in the office, the employer must take measures to prevent health hazards (Occupational Health and Safety Act §4 Duty of Care)

Tips for all employees who suffer from the heat in summer:

  1. Wear loose clothing made of natural materials such as linen, cotton etc.
  2. Drink enough water. Three liters a day is the minimum! Do not drink soft drinks. Because of their high sugar content, these are not suitable thirst quenchers and are not good for your health in the long run.
  3. Eat right: Fruits and vegetables are better than schnitzel or meat loaf. Fruits with a high water content, such as melon or pineapple, are best.
  4. Ventilate properly: open all windows and doors in the morning to let the cooler air into the offices. Close all windows and doors after 08:30 and darken them with curtains or blinds to keep the midday heat out.
  5. Set up a ventilation fan or use fans to provide a cool breeze.
  6. Every now and then, run cold water over your forearms or put cold, damp cloths on the back of your neck.
  7. Turn off all appliances that are not in use, otherwise they will continue to radiate heat.
  8. Go to the office as early as possible during flextime so that you can still use the cool hours of the day for work.
  9. Avoid sitting in the sun during your lunch break.
  10. Refrain from coffee and alcohol.

A tip to all entrepreneurs: Give drinks, fans or ventilators to your employees – you will have more from healthy staff!