Summer heat vs. Business attire

Welcome to Toronto – temperatures range from the lovely -30 Celsius with windchill in the dead of winter to the +30 C with humidity we’re experiencing now. It can be uncomfortable at the best of times, just crossing the street can cause you to break out in a full sweat.

As a result, our AC systems struggle to keep us cool, even more so considering the business attire one considers appropriate. Each day, thousands of workers stream in and out of the giant office buildings in downtown Toronto, that are all chilled to accommodate suits, dress shirts and even sweaters. But can we not find a way to relax the AC and keep it comfortable to go from the parking lot to the desk?

Our recent Softchoice Mid-Year Sales retreat was in Phoenix. In July. Yes, it was a dry heat – but at least our Senior VP of Sales specified NO suits were to be worn, it was business casual only.

Last year the Freakonomics Blog brought this story to my attention – about Bangladesh’s Prime Minister even weighing in on relaxing the dress code in their tough climate. And the Government of Ontario even recommends it in their Energy saving tips for Businesses:

“In the summer, create a policy to relax your dress code such as “Suit jackets and ties are not required during warmer temperatures”. Then you can turn the thermostat up, and save on air conditioning”

How’s your business coping with the heat?