Office Work During Summer: That's Why You Don’t Like It (According To Science)

By Deskbookers on July 19th, 2017

We all know that situation: It’s hot outside, and the office is REALLY stuffy.

If you’re lucky, your office has decent air conditioning - if not, you will be stuck with sweaty palms and stains in your armpits.

But there’s more than just discomfort.

Do you ever feel like you can’t get anything done during the summer?

When half of the office is at the beach, many of us struggle to stay productive. BBQ’s and ice cream sound better than excel sheets and that report that has to be finished by Thursday.

Is it just a feeling that we can’t get anything done when the sun is at it’s strongest? Or is it actually backed up by facts and do we have a genuine reason to long for a cold drink before 4pm?

It’s not your fault, says science.

We wanted to know more about it, so let’s get into it.

Generally speaking, we are more healthy during summertime. It’s quite logical if you think about it: During winter, your body is more or less in constant inflammation mode, trying to fight the next cold.

You don’t have to do that in summer. So why aren’t we more productive?

Well, there’s actually a lot more happening to your body:

  • Heat actually slows down the central nervous system, which is responsible for most of your actions during the day. When it gets extremely hot, let’s say 30 °C plus, your body starts to stress out.

  • One of the reasons is that your blood pressure decreases due to dehydration and high temperatures. What follows is a lower blood volume, which eventually makes everything work slower.

You’re basically a Porsche with a broken gas pipe. Yeah, we just compared you to a Porsche. You’re welcome.

Don’t worry too much about it though: Your body adapts rather quickly to the heat and will be working fine in just 6 days to 2 weeks.

Furthermore, humidity and heat in the office have proven to increase tiredness and 
reduce productivity severely. So you actually do have scientific reasons for not being productive.

But what does psychology say about it?

It doesn’t much get better. 

Heat has been proven to increase aggressionSo, if you’re having a bad day and your colleagues ask you what’s up, just blame it on the weather.

Or, even better: Tell your boss that ventilation would really change your mood. It’s true: Employees who can regulate the temperature are more satisfied. Just sayin’.

Time’s flying? Not in summer.

Right, so you struggle with the heat, the office becomes a boxing pit, and ventilation is not available. Could it get even worse?

Turns out it can. In summer, time is being perceived much longer than it actually is and people get bored.

But it’s more than that.

Even if people feel like they stay longer, they’re not able to achieve equally good results. Productivity decreases up to 7 %!

But why?

It’s mainly about your attention. The heat really deflects your inner focus - and not only a little. Employees are more distracted during summer -  by an incredible 45 %. So you’re checking your latest Snaps even more often. Not cool.

And what now?

Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes, you just gotta work. Even in the summer! But listen to your body and your brain, take a break and go with the flow.

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