Air conditioning & cool drinks: When your employer has to act when it's hot

Klimaanlagen & kühle Getränke: Wann Ihr Arbeitgeber bei Hitze handeln muss

When temperatures rise, working in the office can become a real ordeal. Especially when the sun can heat up a building without protection, 30 degrees and more can quickly be reached inside. Unfortunately, many people mistakenly think that they have nothing to do with the employer. But you do have claims that you can enforce when it is very hot. In this text we have summarized the things that you can do, both as an employer and as an employee, when it is very hot.

The temperature – from then on action must be taken

According to experts, the optimum temperature for working is 22 degrees Celsius. Although this is not required by law, most offices in Germany have a temperature between 20 and 22 degrees.

First of all: Unfortunately, there is no such thing as heat-free in working life anymore. For many, it was a real highlight during their school days if classes were canceled because of it. There is no such regulation for employees in Germany, but companies have to take countermeasures above a certain temperature.

The temperature limits are always referred to as the temperature in the interior. From 26 degrees, first measures must be taken to relieve the worker. This includes outdoor blinds and awnings as well as other sun protection. These measures are necessary because damage to health can already occur at this temperature. Especially with physically demanding work, it is therefore important for both employer and employee to pay attention to their health.

The reasonable temperature in the interior always depends on the outside temperature. So if it's over 35 degrees in summer, 30 degrees in offices is also quite reasonable. Only when the temperature inside exceeds 35 degrees is work considered unreasonable. In these cases, for example, flextime can be allowed or working hours can be reduced - but there is no such thing as heat-free here either.

Important for employers: From 30 degrees in the office, you are obliged to provide cooling immediately. This is not precisely defined, so examples could be: fans, cold drinks, ice cream for all employees, etc. You as an employer have a lot of discretion here, but you should remember that the well-being of your employees also benefits you.

As mentioned above, working above 35 degrees is no longer reasonable. However, you may only stay away from work if your employer does not take any countermeasures. However, elderly or sick people have a special position here. With a certificate, they have the right to work from home or to be released from work on particularly hot days. However, this must always be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Air conditioning in offices - they have these advantages

Air conditioning is not yet standard in many office spaces, despite proven benefits for both employers and employees.

Health Benefits

This includes, among other things, the improved ability to concentrate. In high heat, the human brain has trouble concentrating on something. If a lot of people join them, as is often the case in an open-plan office, the working day passes quickly. Many people then have a headache during their lunch break, which hinders their subsequent work. With air conditioning, these heat side effects can be intercepted. A constant room temperature throughout the year helps ensure that everyone in the office feels comfortable.

Cooling air conditioners have many functions that can make everyday office life easier. In addition to quiet operation, they also score points for easy control and an innovative smart home connection. In this way, all devices in a company can be conveniently controlled from a mobile phone. Our air conditioning systems can be adapted to any room size, because with us you have the choice between different cooling capacities. All Kältebringer split air conditioning systems also have modern programs for self-cleaning.

Benefits for the employer

Air conditioning systems are not only a real relief for your employees, your company also benefits from them. With a cool temperature, you create incentives for new employees or trainees to choose your company. In addition, a pleasant room climate and healthy air promote the productivity of your employees, which also has a positive effect on the balance sheet.

If you opt for air conditioning in your company, you are a good example of innovation and progress, because in Germany only a few office rooms are equipped with the systems. Of course, this puts your company in an even better light!

You also have tax advantages if you decide to buy an air conditioner. If the device costs less than 800 euros, as is the case with many cooling systems, you can fully deduct the costs as an operating expense. If the purchase price is higher, you can write off the air conditioning system over several years, which you also benefit from.

Tips when it's very hot in the office

Finally, a few general tips on how to behave in hot weather:

Clothing - Choose loose, loose-fitting cotton or linen clothing. If the dress code in the company allows it, shorts are also recommended. Important: Your employer can insist on wearing a suit even in midsummer, but employers are usually accommodating here

Drinks – When it is very hot, you should not resort to drinks that are too cold. The body has to heat them up in the stomach and so you sweat even more. Therefore, we recommend that you regularly consume lukewarm drinks. Lukewarm tea or water is particularly suitable

Breaks - If it's very warm in the office, you should take a break about every two hours. It is then advisable to spend them in a cool area, such as the basement or in an air-conditioned room. Under no circumstances should you also be in the sun during the break - this could make you feel even more exhausted in the afternoon

Eating – In the summer you should avoid large, rich meals during working hours. Small snacks with lots of fruit and vegetables are more recommended. You should also make sure you have enough salt, as you lose large amounts of it through sweating.

As you can see, in summer you have many options and requirements to make work more bearable. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as heat-free, but you can still inform your employer about the regulations and measures. In addition, you should also pay attention to your health in summer and promote it with a healthy diet and sufficient drinks.

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