As the temperature outside skyrockets, tempers inside and around the office can heat up too. This is all the more so if you work in an office that lacks central air (hey, historical buildings are great, but let’s get some AC up in here) or if your officemates prefer to set the thermostat at Sahara-like levels. No matter what your situation, it’s important to find ways to keep your cool around the office this summer.

fan on desk1. Bring a Fan From Home

When the temperature in your cubicle rises and you have no control over the thermostat, it’s time to bring a fan from home. A square or rotating blade fan placed on the floor both will do the trick, as will a fan placed on your desk closer to your face. Even more convenient will be a fan that clips to the sides of your cubicle, which is a real space saving approach. Just make sure to anchor down your loose papers.

2. Dim the Lights

Yes, you need light to see, but how much of it really? If you’re working beneath incandescent lights the temperature can really climb up there. Dimming the lights can be an effective way to keep the heat in check. Perhaps even more effective, though, is upgrading to more energy efficient bulbs, which won’t lose nearly so much of their energy through heat.

Speaking of light, if you work near a window, ask management about window tinting, as a strong sun can really heat things up — and we’re not even going to mention the issues with glare. In lieu of that, shades are a cost-effective option and can be lowered during the hours in which the sun is the strongest.

3. Work on Ergo Equipment

Go!2 KeyboardAnd now to turn to the other meaning of cool: keeping those stress levels down. While ergonomic equipment itself doesn’t have much to do with “staying cool,” protecting your body from pain sure does. In fact, when you’re trying to work through pain, you’ll find you have a lot less tolerance for stressful situations. This makes keeping your cool much more difficult, which can impair your interactions with team members.

To set things straight, try working on an ergonomic split keyboard and an ergonomic mouse instead. With the split keyboard, you’ll easily find the perfect typing position for you. With the ergonomic mouse, you’ll find more than enough support for your hands and wrists. Together, ergonomic equipment will keep you out of pain, on task, and ready to tackle any stressful situations that arise throughout the day.

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4. Opt for In-Person Conflict Resolution

Conflict at work is bound to happen. As such, savvy conflict resolution skills are a key part of keeping things cool around the office. As tempting as it may be, try not to resolve things over email, where it’s difficult to interpret tone and easy to make less than positive assumptions about the other person. Instead, arrange an in-person meeting to work things out. Doing so will ensure that you still see each other as human beings rather than as adversaries. This increases your chances of working things out successfully — and also helps you keep your cool as you do so.

5. Just Breathe

man with eyes closed taking in air

Sometimes when stress levels amp up around the office, the best advice is simply to take a breather — and by that we mean, to take some deep, cleansing breaths. Step away from your desk for a little while to clear your mind, inhale deeply, and let stress pour out of you. Doing so will help you let go, calm down, and get yourself back into a cooled down state of mind.
Staying cool — both temperature- and stress-wise — around the office this summer will ensure you continue to perform well at work and rise up the ranks. What are your favorite ideas to keep your cool? Let us know in the blog comments.