The Farmer’s Almanac predicted a sizzling summer across the U.S. in 2022 and they were right on. If you’re working from home and there’s no air conditioning, it can make things pretty miserable.
If this is the case for any of your employees, remember: you need to protect their health and well-being just as you do those who come into the office each day. You’re not there to monitor the temperature in their homes, of course, but you can provide helpful information.
Tips to Stay Cool When Working From Home
First and foremost, if an employee is feeling ill or worn out and it’s likely due to the heat, advise them to take a break, hydrate and, if the situation is extreme, seek medical assistance. Heat-related disorders are not to be taken lightly.
You can also advise people to:
- Open windows at night, but close them during the day. This preserves cooler air and avoids letting hot air in.
- Dress appropriately. Recommend light, loose-fitting clothing, as well as sandals and other light footwear. Extremities including the feet regulate the body’s core temperature, so it’s important to pay special attention to them.
- Take care of other pulse points as well. An ice pack pressed against pulse points on the wrist, neck, chest or temples – spots that release the most heat from the body – speeds up the biological cooling process. However, the skin should be covered with a towel and contact should be limited to 20 minutes at a time. The same effect is achieved by running the wrists under a cold tap.
- Avoid caffeine. Coffee raises body temperature, so encourage people to cut down until the temperature outside goes down. Swap caffeine for water as much as possible.
- Put laptops on a table, not their actual laps. An electronic device sitting on the knees is a prescription for hot weather misery. Encourage employees to use a desk or table instead. On a related note, it’s advisable to unplug any unnecessary electronics – even something as relatively small as a phone charger – to further cool things down.
Flex hours: always a plus, but especially now!
Last but not least, is it feasible for your work-from-home employees to change their hours? If they’re morning people, they can start earlier in the day, to optimize productivity before the sun hits its peak point. Or, they can work in the evening and at night – at least when the weather forecast is particularly oppressive.
- If you think this will work, have them address it, as they would any other work-related concerns, with you or with their immediate supervisor. And encourage those supervisors to support flexibility as much as possible.
Key HR can help you succeed in all areas of HR and talent management, including taking the best possible care of all your employees, on or off-site. We’ll help you stay current with solutions to optimize your workforce while reducing costs, saving time, building revenue, and minimizing risk. Contact us today to learn more.
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- On August 31, 2022
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