It's summer time in the Philippines and the heat has been relentless in penetrating the cement walls and glass windows of the office. There are ways to prevent the summer heat from becoming a distraction and causing trouble at work. Here are some ways that many people swear are effective. If you're visiting the Philippines to meet your outsourcing staff and relax for a couple of days, then these summer tips can be of great use to you.
#1 Drink at least 3 liters of cool, clean water or any kind of fluid each day.
For a healthy adult of average height and weight living in a temperate climate, the Institute of Medicine recommends that "an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day." If you're living in a tropical country, then the amount could be higher.
You don't have to drink water all the time though. All kinds of fluid will count towards the total you need to keep yourself hydrated. Beware, however, that beverages like coffee and tea are diuretics, which mean they'll make you pee more frequently and you'll lose more fluids in your body that way.
#2 Wear comfortable clothing made of breathable fabric, such as cotton.
Summer in the Philippines consists of hot and humid days. Sometimes, there are blazing hot days with not a single drop of moisture in the air. A sleeveless tank top or a dress with spaghetti straps looks comfy for a tour around the city or a day at the beach, but it's probably not the right attire for the office.
To keep yourself comfortable while looking presentable at work, wear lightweight clothes made of cotton, rayon, linen and chambray. Light-colored garments in white, cream and pastel colors don't absorb sunlight (and heat) as much as dark colors do. You may also wear clothes made from blended fabrics, such as Cotton-Modal dresses, tops, and pants.
#3 Apply sunscreen daily to your face, arms, and other areas frequently exposed to the sun.
Sunlight burns brighter and hotter in the tropics than in the temperate zone. You're nearer the equator compared to your home. It's important that you wear sunscreen every time you go out. Select a bottle of sunscreen with at least 30 SPF and apply an even layer on your skin every two hours. It provides 95 percent or more protection against the sun's UV rays.
#4 Keep the room temperature within the recommended range.
Employees often struggle with low energy levels during summer. The heat tends to make them drowsy. To help your staff maintain their focus at work, make sure the room temperature in the office is at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
The United States Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends a temperature range of 68°F to 76°F [20°C to 22°C]. Above 76°F, productivity starts to decline, while below 68°F, discomfort and the error rate become increasingly acute.
Also, make sure that your staff's work area is open and well-ventilated with enough space for ease of movement. This is not an impossible task. Most office buildings in the Philippines have ventilation shafts and wide open spaces for work areas. You don't have to modify the office or move to another location just to beat the heat.
#5 Incorporate the outdoors with your work or change your work environment from time to time.
Stop staying in one place, especially inside a stuffy office. Invite your staff to a lunch meeting somewhere that provide al fresco seating with a lot of shade. It can be a coffee shop or a small diner near the office. A change in scenery refreshes the mind as well as the spirit. It's also a relief to go out and relax with one's friends and colleagues.
A Season of Fun in the Philippines
Summer in the Philippines officially starts in April and often ends in June, but there may be a drizzle in May wherein Catholic priests may gather the water and turn it into Holy Water to be used in church and during Mass.
Summer is usually a welcome season for Filipinos because it's a time when families and friends go on vacation and enjoy a relaxing time together. You and your outsourcing staff can do the same.
When you're visiting the Philippines for work, add some time for a bit of rest and relaxation. Plan a team building activity that you and your staff can do for a day. It will surely be a fun bonding experience for the team.