Hot Or Cold: What To Do When The Temperature Isn’t Right For You In Your Office?

What should happen when you can’t balance your core temp at your workplace… where quilts are not professional enough to snuggle in publicly, nor or summer shorts? What if there is no box of ice lollies at hand? What do you do in an environment which is so hot you struggle to stay awake, or so cold that you can’t concentrate!? 

Here are a few things to consider if you are feeling uncomfortable with the temperature at work. 

The Law 

According to the UK Gov website;

Workplace temperatures. During working hours’, the temperature in all indoor workplaces must be reasonable. There’s no law for minimum or maximum working temperatures, e.g. when it’s too cold or too hot to work. However, guidance suggests a minimum of 16ºC or 13ºC if employees are doing physical work.” 

Self Help 

Before needing to address any supervisor there are a few things you can do in the office to help yourself with temperature regulation. You can for example; first check with your colleagues if they feel the same way and then proceed to open/close some windows, bring warm/cold drinks with you to your desk, remove/add additional clothing or if possible sit at another desk space in the office (away from breeze or heater). 

Speak To Your Superior

If you find that there is a problem with regulating the temperature in your working environment and there is nothing you can do to resolve it, you should be comfortable with first approaching your employer. Your employer can then agree to turn on the air conditioning/heater, purchase a water cooler for the office, utilise a fridge/coffee machine, offer a desk fan/heater and maybe consider adding an electric fire, or get the heating system checked if seemingly broken. 

If temperature is still a problem in the office then it may be necessary to approach the HR or GM. Outside of your employer you may also consider contacting your local union, a council representative or a local MLA. 

By Claire Louise McBride