How to survive the office

Sep 05, 2019


An office survival guide

Guest blog written by Calmer - partners of The Brew

Have you been stuck in the office this summer? Or perhaps you’ve just returned from your holidays and you are struggling with the confinements of an office again? 

Whatever your situation, surviving the office and ensuring you are working at your very best can be tricky. At Calmer, we believe a happy mind makes for a happy business. This survival guide will highlight easy ways that you can improve your mental and physical wellbeing so you can get back to your productive self.


1. Find simple ways to cool off in the office

Many offices are still hot or muggy so it’s no wonder that we’re a little distracted. In the UK, we have a recommended minimum temperature for indoor working environments, but no maximum. What is particularly challenging is that we don’t have the infrastructure to deal with intense heat and most workplaces lack air conditioning.

Feeling comfortable at work is a key factor when it comes to being productive. In order to restore yourself to a cooler, calmer state at work, try the following:

  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day
  • Carry a reusable water bottle with you when commuting
  • Close the blinds or change your desk’s position if sat in direct sunlight
  • Open windows to circulate cooler air
  • Dress in lighter, loose clothing - linen and cotton are two good materials

If you simply can’t work in and uncomfortable office environment, communicate that with your manager or your team. You may be able to work from home, or even take on a brief stint in a coworking space such as The Brew where conditions are designed to be optimum at all times. Often, a different working environment is like a breath of fresh air.


2. Plan your time wisely

You may find it useful to shuffle your schedule around to ensure you are not spending hours attached to your desk. 

First thing each morning, try outlining what you wish to achieve that day, noting any prior engagements such as client meetings or events. If you have a piece of work that requires deep concentration, try to work on this during the morning, when you are fresher. Consider scheduling meetings during midday to break up the day and your bluescreen time.

When you start slowing up on a task, take a break. Get a drink of water, or if you’re feeling like a treat, an ice-lolly! This can also be a great motivational tool if you buy some for your team too! 


3. Avoid picking up too much work

Some people book holidays at this time of year to avoid the peak time of summer, so you may be expected to share some of the workload while colleagues are away. While it may not be possible to avoid any extra work, it is reasonable to refuse too much - having a larger workload, and working longer hours, can actually make you less productive.

Try to liaise with anyone going on holiday a few days before they go, so you can begin to understand what activities are priorities, and what can be left until their return. A last-minute handover may make this harder to suss out and leave you feeling overwhelmed in their absence.


4. Make the most of the great outdoors

If your workspace is close to a park, canal, or another type of green space, now’s your last chance to make the most of it before the colder months kick in.

Try taking phone calls outside, or even better, team meetings. The change of location will stimulate everyone and a little trip outside of a stuffy office can be refreshing.

Of course, when it’s your lunch break, head to a shady spot outdoors. Dining alfresco is a real treat, can create new connections with coworkers and provide a welcome break from your computer screen.


5. Have an end-of-summer office party

Whether it’s a general get-together, a booked bar venue, or a teambuilding away day, it can provide a brilliant opportunity to enjoy yourself and connect with your colleagues on a more informal level.

However, it pays to be sensible. If your party involves alcoholic drinks, make sure to also top up with water - alcohol is dehydrating and can cause you to get drunk quicker.

If you’re on an away-day, see if you can plan to do something that benefits your local community. This brings both shared experiences and shared values. Anything from paddle boarding while picking up litter, to holding a clothes swap for charity; they bring fun and purpose in equal measure.


About Calmer

Calmer is a leading UK organisation empowering entrepreneurs and purposeful business teams to nurture good mental health and wellbeing. They provide digital courses, workplace training, events, workshops and 1:1 sessions, in addition to their membership platform, The Calmer Community, to entrepreneurs, freelancers, and business owners. They believe a happy mind makes for a happy business.

Find us on our website, join the Calmer Community, or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.


About The Brew by rent24

The Brew offers coworking offices and private offices for teams from 1-100 people in Shoreditch, very close to Old Street underground station .

Membership benefits include free-to-use meeting rooms, unlimited fairtrade teas & coffees, VIP support from the community team, a fantastic global network. regular business seminars, events and wellbeing sessions - and lots more!

Check out our FAQ's or contact us with your requirements.