Five ways to stay cool in the office this summer

Dog in the car window

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1.) Remote/flexible working

Don't force your long-suffering staff to swelter on buses, trains and tubes to get into work. Get with the times and make sure that everyone can access servers, emails and answer the phone wherever they are. Even if that's sitting in a bath of ice in the comfort of their own home (we don't recommend using electronic devices in the bath, fyi).

If you've hired decent staff in the first place, they won't shirk their workloads, but they will be eternally grateful for your trust and benevolence. According to a recent HP survey, 54% of small businesses cite summer as the peak season for working remotely.

Alternatively, be flexible with working hours. If Britain gets hit by a heatwave and your employees would rather work from 7am - 11am, then 4pm - 6pm, and they're not in time-sensitive positions (like customer service), why not?

2.) Become a fan fan

Make sure that each person in your office has their own fan. There's nothing worse than the undignified scramble for a few lone fans and the subsequent frustration, impotent rage - even tears - at missing out.

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 state that the temperature in every working environment must be 'reasonable' - between 13°C if much of the work is physical and 16°C. Buy your fans in advance, keep the air circulating and open windows if you don't have air conditioning systems in place.

3.) Hold your meetings alfresco

Do you really need to gather round that Powerpoint to discuss your business objectives? When the weather is balmy, go outside and hold your confabs in a local park instead. Who knows, the change of surroundings might even help the creative process.

Brown and green (well, turquoise) are known to stimulate creativity and harmony in the workplace, so let Mother Nature foot the redecoration bill and head for the nearest green space.

Caveat: watch out for ants.

4.) Stay hydrated

The human body is around 70% water. In physics terms, you're more liquid than solid. This means you need to make sure that you top up your fluids during hot weather. Avoid too much tea or coffee as these can dehydrate you, and make sure that you imbibe up to three litres of water every day.

Water coolers are great. Not only do they protect your workforce from dry mouth and other symptoms of dehydration, they are also great places to catch up on gossip. And they're feng shui!

5.) I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream

This is the piece de resistance. When the walls are melting and laptops have puddles of plastic and circuit boards, do an ice cream run for the team. Even better, support your local ice cream parlour by going on an unofficial outing for milkshakes, gelato or frozen, creamy goodness.

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