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How to Survive in a Freezing Office

Updated on October 9, 2013

What to do when your office air conditioner is freezing

It might be 95 degrees out in the middle of July, but your officemates are bringing Snuggies and blankets to work to stay warm in the air conditioning. Since huddling around your monitor for warmth won't work, try these tips and tricks so you can learn how to stay warm in a freezing office, while still appearing professional.

Stay Warm Depending on Your Office

Tips for Surviving in a Freezing Office Building

1. Talk to Building Maintenance: If your office has a way for you to contact the building maintenance, you can ask for them to close the air vent closest to your desk. This will have the greatest impact on changing the temperature in your work area.

2. Packing Tape: Use clear packing tape to seal off the air vent so that the air cannot blow out at you.

3. Space Heater: This popular option is probably forbidden in most office buildings. However, if it is allowed in yours it may be worth it to bring a small space heater to keep under your desk.

Tips For the Ladies to Stay Warm in A Freezing Office

If you go to all the trouble of putting on a nice suit or outfit for the office, the last thing you want to do is cover it up with a parka inside due to the air conditioning. Try these tricks instead:

1. Shawl: Get a cashmere wrap or shawl and keep it at your desk. They can wrap around your shoulders, or be put in your lap to warm your legs to stay warm. They have an added bonus that they come in countless bright colors and are generally about $10, so you can get several that will match your outfits.

2. Socks: If your office is frequently cold, put a pair of warm socks in your purse. If you are wearing pumps you can slip them off and put on the socks, and then hide your feet underneath your desk. If you need to get up to do something, quickly just trade out the socks and your heels, and no one will be the wiser. No, I am not advocating that you become the person that wanders around the office in their socks!

3. Cardigan: Keep a spare cardigan in a neutral color, such as black or white, in your desk drawer. That way if it is unexpectedly cold you are prepared, and it should match almost anything you could be wearing.

4. Slippers: If you work a lot of nights and weekends when it is particularly cold and no one else is in the office, just go ahead and keep a pair of warm slippers under your desk. That way you can slip your feet into them when you are cold.

5. Blazer: If your office is consistently cold, grab a blazer to wear for the day. You can wear your blouse during your commute to work when it may be very hot outside, and then throw the blazer on over it to withstand the air conditioning through the day.

6. Fingerless Gloves: Go to Target or Walmart and get a pair of cheap knit gloves to keep at your desk. If you cannot type with the gloves on, which is likely, cut the fingertips off of the gloves with your scissors.

Photo Credit: Coffee by Kaakati via flickr
Photo Credit: Coffee by Kaakati via flickr

Warm Beverages

How to keep toasty in cold air conditioning

Sometimes the air conditioning is so cold, the only thing that will make a difference is a nice warm drink.

1. Hot Tea: Keep a package of tea bags at your desk, so you can make a nice cup of tea whenever it gets unbearably cold. Try herbal tea, chai tea, or black tea. You can normally use the coffee makers in the break room to provide hot water for the tea.

2. Hot Coffee: Normally provided for free in the break room, so all you have to do is wander over and get it. If you get bored, you can bring your own flavored creamers.

3. Hot Chocolate: Keep some packets in your desk drawer, for those days that are freezing cold and drag on and on. It will make a nice pick me up in the afternoon. Additionally, you can take a hot chocolate packet and mix it into your cup of coffee to make a mocha.

4. Hot Water: If you are avoiding caffeine and don't want to have an herbal tea, just try drinking hot water. Normally it is available from a spigot attached to the front of the coffee maker. Even if you don't want to drink it, you can put it in a mug and hold on to the mug to warm your fingers.

Is your office too cold?

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Other Tips For Staying Warm at Work

If your office is freezing cold, try these

1. Heating Pad: Take a heating pad and plug it in, and keep it against the back of your chair. That way it will warm you up, through and through.

2. Pocket Warmers: If you are really, really cold, get some of the heated pocket warmers to keep your hands warm. Keep an eye out for the ones that are reusable, or else you will wind up spending a fortune.

3. Microwave Heating Pad: If you don't sit next to a power outlet, or electric heating pads make you uncomfortable, try a microwavable one. You can even sew one yourself using rice for the filling. Take the pad, put it in the microwave and it will give you lasting warmth.

4. ThermaCare Heat Wrap: You can use one of the chemical based heat wraps to keep you warm for a long time.

What do you do to keep warm at work?

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Guestbook Comments

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    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      Good job on what to do when the office is a tad nippy!

    • FallenAngel 483 profile image

      FallenAngel 483 

      6 years ago

      I really hate the cold. Some good tips here. My home is my office at the moment so I can keep nice and warm while I work.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Some good ideas here. I worked in a freezing office for a number of years. Luckily, we had space heaters.


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