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How to dress smart for a freezing cold office in the summer

How to dress smart for a freezing cold office in the summer

Summertime is great, as it allows you to wear all those silky, fluffy dresses and skirts, as you flash some bronzed skin. In the summertime you get to show off all that time you’ve spent sweating in the gym over the winter, It paid off and you have a toned body. Oh, the sun, the ice creams, the tanning sessions, the UGGs for office.

Oh, yes! In summer the office turns into a freezing environment where no one could possibly type without gloves and a thick, wool blanket on her knees. At least, this is the case for women, who happen to make up a lot of the current workforce stuck in cold offices, which were designed for men.

The AC as the symbol of the patriarchal force

If you ever thought the cold offices are fit for a penguin more than a working woman dressed for summertime, you are right. Somewhat…

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An actual study revealed that AC systems in the offices are using temperature settings and guidelines of the 1960s! Moreover, those were designed for middle-aged, 154 pound man, dressed in a complete suit, sometimes along with a vest. That’s right, your office is cold because the managers are sticking to old, patriarchal guidelines.

Apart from the fact modern women are far from wearing Don Draper’s outfits at the office, men and women are simply different when it comes to temperature. Joost Van Hoof explains that the physiology of women, who are smaller in size and have more body fat than a man, is making them lose more heat, quicker. Instead of addressing this problem, most CEOs just went with the flow and let the AC system numb their female worker’s fingers, even if this decreases their productivity.

A study found that raising the office temperature from 68 degrees to 77 degrees increases the productivity by 150% and decreases the number of the typos by 44%.

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Sadly, office manager are still to solve this common AC problem, but until they do it, you may want to stop shivering on your desk, so here are some solutions to keep you warm for the day.

The solutions to stop freezing

Now that you know why you are freezing at the office, let’s see what we can do about it. The simple solution would be to dress with warmer clothes, but summer prevents you from doing this. Luckily, there are some solutions for the AC problem.

1. Layering

Layering is the most accessible way to keep yourself warm in the freezing office. You can keep a cardigan at the office, on your chair, to have it close when your knees are in need of a warm fabric or you need to cover your shoulders with something.

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If you don’t want to leave your beloved cardigan or another clothing item at office, you can gamble on smart office combos which can be peeled off or layered on, depending on the conditions. For inspiration, I gathered four types of combos you can wear at the office on a hot summer day.

  1. A skirt with a sleeveless top and a cardigan. A circle skirt is going to be office appropriate and will provide you comfort on a hot day, but it will also help you keep your knees warm, as they are usually covered by the skirt. Pair it with a sleeveless top, preferably made from a breathable fabric and you are ready to hit the streets. Before you leave your home pack a cardigan and layer it on when you get at the AC blasting office.
  2. The second option you have is to keep the top and the cardigan and go with a pencil skirt. It may look more office appropriate, but it can be pretty hard to wear on hot days. To counteract this, look for pencil skirts made of light fabrics, in light colors.
  3. The third option here are pants. A skinny fit is not advisable on hot days, so go for a loose fitting, which allows the air to caress your skin when you walk. They can easily be paired with a flowy top and an open pullover, to allow you to stay warm inside your cold office.
  4. Dresses and blazers. If you are not into skirts, you can match a dress with a blazer. Pick a light, breezily dress, made of chiffon or another light fabric. Then, pair it with a blazer. To pull off this outfit you need to pay attention to color matching, as the dress might be too light for wearing it with a blazer. The best option is to gamble on light colors for both the dress and the blazer.

2. Closed shoes

Summer is the season when us girls like to show off our amazing legs, which means we often wear open shoes. Well, if you want to be warm at the office, opt for a pair of closed shoes, which can keep your feet warm. If you can, pick shoes that can be paired with socks, if your feet become numb over the day, due to the AC problem.

If you can keep a pair of shoes at work, buy summer boots and keep a pair of socks in them, so you can slip from your fashionable shoes into the boots when you arrive at the office. Suede summer boots in nude can be accessorized with pretty much any outfit without becoming an eye sore, which makes them a good investment.

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When you wear a skirt or a dress, stockings are going to help you keep your legs warm, so don’t skip them. If you choose really thin stockings, they will be invisible and will allow you to feel comfortable outside, in the hot weather.

3. Scarves

Apart from the feet, your neck is very sensitive to cold, so wearing a scarf is going to keep you warm in your cold office. A silk scarf is easy to keep in your bag and won’t destroy your outfit when you wrap it around your neck. Silk is especially great for wrapping your neck, because this fabric is thin and is able to trap the body heat.

Another great tip for keeping your neck warm is leaving your hair down your shoulders. If you have a long mane, style it in such way you can leave it down when you arrive at the office.

Featured photo credit: Nicola Albertini/RedLips via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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