How to stay warm in a cold office

If you’ve read our previous blog, ‘what is causing your office air con wars?’ then you’ll understand the reasons why men and women in offices up and down the country often seem to be at loggerheads when it comes to the air conditioning units. Biologically speaking, women’s bodies typically have a higher fat to muscle ratio, which means they’re good at keeping heat in but not so good at generating body heat in the first place. Meanwhile, men typically have a higher percentage of muscle so they’re able to generate their own body heat from within more easily.


Working in a cold office can affect both your wellbeing and your productivity. Constant cold temperatures can thicken your blood and increase your blood pressure, and you may end up hunching over and straining your shoulders and back to keep warm. It’s also a lot more uncomfortable to type with cold hands!

If you find that you’re always a little bit chilly in the office, while your colleagues are absolutely fine, here are a few ways that you can stay warm and avoid an all-out air con war…

  • Drink hot drinks: Most workplaces provide tea and coffee making facilities for employees, you may just have to bring your own teabags and milk to work but that’s no real hardship. Some workplaces even provide hot drinks vending machines too so that you can enjoy cappuccinos, lattes, and hot chocolates throughout the day. Drinking hot drinks helps to raise your core body temperature; and holding the mug or cup can warm your hands up too.
  • Eat warm lunches: During the summer months you may be enjoying salads and light evening meals, but if you work in a cold office you may want to try eating soup for lunch. If you’re not a fan of soup, try taking leftovers to reheat, or microwave ready-meals on occasion too. Warm food keeps your core body temperature elevated and helps you to stay feeling warm for longer.
  • Wear more layers: If you’re feeling the cold you could try slipping on a light vest top underneath your shirt or blouse in order to trap warm air near the skin and keep you feeling warm. Build up your layers by wearing a cardigan or smart jacket over your blouse too. During the summer you may not want to face the commute in all those layers, but there’s no reason why you can’t bring them with you and layer up once you get to work.
  • Wear a scarf: A lot of your body heat gets lost through your neck, so if you want to stay warm try wearing a scarf in the office. It doesn’t have to be your big woolly winter scarf. A smart cotton or silk scarf can add a little something extra to your work attire, whilst keeping your neck warm at the same time.
  • Keep a pashmina at work: A pashmina or blanket scarf (a wide, thick scarf) are ideal for folding up and keeping in your desk drawer, or draped over the back of your chair for chillier days. Wear it wrapped around your shoulders to keep the chill off, or drape it over your legs to prevent that pesky office draft from giving you the chills.
  • Take a walk at lunch: Leave the office on your lunch break and go for a walk around the block, or in a nearby park if you’re lucky enough to work near one. Moving your body about helps to generate heat, so a brisk walk at lunch time will leave you feeling warm on your return to the office. Wrap that pashmina around you to keep the warmth in and stay feeling warm all afternoon.IMG_20150907_145418
  • Wear fingerless gloves: It’s pretty hard to type properly in regular gloves, but the fingerless variety can help to keep your hands warm and still enable you to do your job. Always make sure you have a pair on your desk for those days where you just can’t seem to get your hands to warm up any other way.
  • Use a hand warmer: Invest in a gel hand warmer and keep it on your desk for emergency hand warming use. They’re fairly cheap to pick up, and work by cracking the metal disc inside which causes the liquid to crystallise and harden. Most of them are reusable; you simply need to take it home and boil it for five to ten minutes until the crystal returns to its liquid form.

Author: Gareth Whalley
Sharing my vast knowledge in the Air Conditioning and Mechanical services field especially in HVAC installation, service and maintenance across a broad range of sectors, including Healthcare, Education, Transport, Banking, Retail and Commercial developments.