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I work at a very small company, about 12 employees. We work in an office in Southern California, about 1500 sq. feet, and there were only two crappy wall air conditioners on one wall of the building. This doesn't help at all when its 100º+ outside.

My boss has sort of mitigated the problem by bringing in an additional three portable air conditioners, however two actually don't remove the moisture from the air and one just drips out into the pan. Therefore it gets humid in the office space. They also just vent up into the drop ceiling, and the last few ceiling tiles are actually not insulated (so, they ran out when they were building it and just said, whatever) so I'm not even 100% sure the air conditioners are able to be productive.

On top of these, we have about 5-10 fans around the office (no joke) and it is extremely loud. I tested the noise level with an app on my phone and it reported around 68-70db. This is bad for making sales calls as well, which I need to do sometimes.

Last week I went home early a few days because it really starts getting unbearable around 3-4PM. However I feel like leaving early will reflect poorly on me, especially since we have the option of coming in early and working from 6-3, but that's not really for me.

I feel very uncomfortable at work due to the heat and noise. How should I approach this situation so as not to affect my appearance and job performance?

  • New fans are relatively quiet and inexpensive. Did you consider asking your boss to purchase and replace the noisy fans to start with ? Also, since the Portable A/Cs are not removing humidity, maybe, you should ask for a few stand alone dehumidifiers while you are at it. I am sure your boss will balk at moving you to a more modern building with better climate control. – MelBurslan Jul 25 '16 at 16:41
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    Some of the fans are actually brand new... right behind my desk is one of the air conditioners which is super loud and then there's a very loud one by one of the wall AC units. We had considered getting better AC units (central or split) but budget was a problem for us, so thats why I feel bad about asking for purchases – user48249 Jul 25 '16 at 16:44
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    Related, possible duplicate: Workplace temperature and noise get too high – David K Jul 25 '16 at 16:56
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    ask if you can come in early to beat the heat. – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Jul 25 '16 at 17:05
  • I have the opposite problem. Air conditioning makes it so cold that even with a long sleeve shirt, I'm still freezing and occasionally have to run my hands under hot/warm water to keep from going numb. But honestly, I'd rather have that than the Atlanta heat. – Chris E Jul 25 '16 at 17:59
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Approach your manager and ask if it's OK to come early and leave early or leave early and work from home in the afternoon. It seems as management recognizes there is an issue so they'll probably be receptive to such a suggestion. Doing that will not reflect poorly on you, but leaving early everyday without discussing it with management first might.

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