How to avoid freezing from office AC

How to avoid freezing from office AC

Summer might be on its way out, but that doesn’t mean the temperature in the office will suddenly be exactly the way you like it. We all want to stay cool and chill on hot summer and warm fall days, but that office AC can freeze out those of us with more sensitive thermostats and differing metabolic rates. Going from the mild climate outside to a too-cool office can feel brutal, especially when you’re spending hours there.

It can be a big problem, as cleverly depicted by College Humor. But it’s also highly unlikely that everyone in the office is going to agree on the same desired thermostat setting. So, how is one to survive a frigid office?

Here are some hacks to help you balance the temperatures and stay comfortable throughout your workday

  1. Layer up

    Dressing in layers that you can add or remove can be a lifesaver. It’s especially helpful during those transition months when unpredictable weather means you have no idea how to dress for the day. Add a cardigan or a vest over your top to keep your core warm when inside. A scarf can help too. Keep one in your desk drawer so you’re always prepared.

    woman in red scarf working at computer

    Go for a pashmina that doubles as a shawl to keep your shoulders warmer too.

    Keep gloves in your desk so your hands will be warm. Make sure you get the fingerless kind so it is still easy to type and use electronic devices. You can even buy fingerless gloves that are heated via the USB port on your computer. And don’t forget the warm socks!

    Throws and blankets are helpful too. Keep one draped over the back of your office chair for quick access when needed.

  2. Create a divide

    Office partitions and wall dividers can help you keep your personal area a bit warmer. Use them to create your own cubicle and add some office space heaters where needed. These will keep your feet warm and raise the temperature of your whole body.

    Just make sure they are at a safe distance and turned off when you step away from your desk. Before you buy a space heater for under your desk, check with management to make sure they are permitted as some buildings may have fire codes regulations that forbid them.

    If space heaters are not allowed, try a heating pad for your lap. And stuff your pockets with hand warmers. Desk lamps could also offer a little extra heat.

  3. Stand and move

    Sitting still all day means lower blood flow and can make you feel colder. Try standing and moving around throughout the day. If your office has stairs, go up and down a few times during your breaks. You could even try a standing desk.

    Besides staying warmer, standing has some great advantages while working. You may become more productive. And when you switch it up and decide to sit, you can continue to stretch your legs and move your feet around to improve not only your circulation but also your warmth factor.

  4. Drink and eat warm things

    Stay warm from the inside out. Go ahead and drink your warm coffee, hot chocolate, or tea. Buy a thermos or hot pot to keep your beverages warm while you sip them slowly throughout the day. If you choose tea, you can purchase a cup that has an infuser so you can steep it right at your desk. Or just go for a cup of hot water.

    Having soups or reheated leftovers from the night before for lunch could be your go-to over traditional summer foods if you’re working in a cold office. Eating boosts your body’s temperature as your metabolism kicks into gear.

    It’s simple, but every little bit of warmth helps. Hold that warm mug and bask in a moment of bliss.

    If all else fails…

  5. Go to the source

    hand adjusting thermostat to 68 fahrenheit

    If you try these tips and are still freezing it may be time for an intervention. Have a talk with the great one in charge of the AC and see if they’re willing to try an adjustment. Productivity decreases when you’re cold, after all. And besides, sometimes office survival is about compromise. Make your case with this study via Cornell University:

    At 77 degrees Fahrenheit, the workers were keyboarding 100 percent of the time with a 10 percent error rate, but at 68 degrees, their keying rate went down to 54 percent of the time with a 25 percent error rate. Temperature is certainly a key variable that can impact performance.

    Alan Hedge, professor of design and environmental analysis and director of Cornell’s Human
    Factors and Ergonomics Laboratory

Do you have “freezing office syndrome”? We want to know in the comments how you survive. Don’t forget to follow us for more tips on staying comfortable, productive, and completely stress-free in the office.