Regardless of what industry you work in, when you’re at the workplace, you usually want to look and feel your best. This is especially the case if you’re expected to wear professional business casual or formal business attire. It can be hard when you factor in sweating at work as formal clothing shows sweat quite easily, and sweat stains are more noticeable in a corporate workplace.
Sweating at work only gets worse when you’re a nervous sweater, as you might feel the most sweaty right before big meetings or in the middle of a conversation with your boss. So, what do you do when your perspiration interferes with feeling confident? This article offers some suggestions.
Is It Normal To Sweat While Working?
Sweating at work can be an isolating experience. When others in your office don’t seem to struggle with it, it can make you wonder if you’re the only one who gets sweaty at work or if everybody else is just much better at hiding it. And chances are, you’re not the most comfortable asking your friends and family if they also deal with workplace sweat problems in case they’ll look at you like you’re crazy and you’ll find out that you are, indeed, the only one.
We’re here to tell you that sweating at work is absolutely normal for many reasons.
- Professional clothes are often stuffy and stifling, heating you up and not giving you the ventilation you’d need to cool back down.
- You most likely have little control over the temperature of your workplace. If somebody else in your office is always turning the thermostat up, you might have to deal with hotter temperatures than you’re comfortable with.
Nervous sweating is a common problem. When you feel stressed, your body immediately releases sweat through your apocrine glands. Experts think that this actually has an evolutionary purpose: if you get stinky when you’re anxious, the immediate odor can serve as a warning to other members of your species that something dangerous is afoot.
Many of us know, workplaces can be pretty stressful. While humans are no longer on savannahs full of predators, we’re still surrounded by high-pressure situations, making even the best of us feel anxious. It’s no surprise that you might get a little sweaty before having a one-on-one with your manager or when you have to deliver a presentation.
Remember, sweating is a completely normal human bodily function. It’s a very clever mechanism your body has to cool you down when your temperature goes up because of the weather or physical exertion. By releasing clear, odorless liquid through your sweat glands, you lose body heat through evaporation. We should be grateful for sweating, actually, as it regulates our temperature and stops us from overheating. But, unfortunately, it can be a major inconvenience in the modern world we live in where walking around stinky and wet isn’t exactly celebrated.
Why Do I Sweat So Easily At Work?
About 367 million people of all ages struggle with a condition called hyperhidrosis, which is excessive sweating either all over the body or focused on certain areas such as the hands, feet, face, and underarms.
Hyperhidrosis is tricky because sometimes it has a cause, such as an underlying health condition, a side effect of medication, or obesity, and other times it seems to happen for no reason at all. So while there are people who can speak to a doctor and fix their hyperhidrosis by addressing the underlying cause of it, other people with the condition have to focus on finding ways to treat and manage it so that they can find a way to maintain their cool and confidence at work.
How Do I Not Look Sweaty At Work? 6 Tips
If you find yourself struggling with workplace sweating, there are a few things that you can do to improve the situation.
1. Make Wise Clothing Choices
Dressing for work can be tricky in the best of times, and it only gets more complicated if you’re trying to find a way to look professional while avoiding sweat stains. Thankfully, there are a few attire tips you can keep in mind that will help you prevent and hide perspiration:
- Choose light, breathable clothing that isn’t too tight to the body.
- Wear layers so you can adjust your clothing to stay comfortable in any temperature.
- Wear an undershirt to absorb sweat, such as Social Citizen’s V-necks with built-in underarm pads.
- Try a sweat-proof polo shirt for semi-formal attire, such as Social Citizen’s Polos, guaranteed to hide all signs of sweat and the existence of underarm pads.
- Pick darker colors that don’t show sweat as easily.
The underarm pads in Social Citizen shirts are entirely seamless from the outside. While other sweat-proof shirt brands are designed only as undershirts and show the seams, Social Citizen shirts are unique by completely hiding underarm seams for a more stylish and confident appearance.
2. Keep Extra Clothes at the Workplace
Another tip that can be really helpful is to keep an extra set of clothes, or at least an extra shirt or two, in your workplace. This way, if you do end up sweating through or staining your clothes, you can just change into a fresh, clean set.
If you don’t have a locker, desk, or office to store your extra clothing in, or simply don’t want to keep clothes at work for whatever reason, another option is to bring an extra set with you in your bag on days that you know you’re more likely to sweat, like the day of a professional development meeting or a presentation.
3. Try to Manage Your Stress Levels
Unfortunately for us nervous sweaters, the working world is a very stressful place. That’s why a shocking 94% of American workers report experiencing stress at their workplace. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If you know that your job gives you a lot of anxiety, there are a few things you can do to try to reduce it.
First, see if there is anything you can do to change the stressful part of your job. Maybe you can speak to your manager about giving you more breaks, spreading out the workload over your team more evenly, or hiring another employee. If the culture at your workplace is problematic itself and offers a poor work-life balance, it may be worth considering if finding a different employer is an option.
And while it isn’t always realistic for people to change careers just because their high-pressure job as a social worker or lawyer is stressing them out, it is something worth thinking about, not just because of sweating but in order to avoid the long term effects of chronic stress such as depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, and abnormal heart rhythms.
Regardless of whether or not you may be able to change something about your work situation to make it less stressful, it’s still a good idea to learn some stress reduction techniques such as meditation, mindfulness, and breathing exercises that you can use to lower your anxiety levels any time that you feel them rising, such as before an important meeting.
4. Make an Effort to Stay Cool
As we said above, the average worker doesn’t always have much control over the temperature in their workplace. It can’t hurt to speak to your office manager and see if it might be possible to turn the thermostat down a little or open a window. If not, you can still consider bringing a small fan to work with you to keep you cool throughout the day so you don’t overheat and sweat through your clothes.
5. Keep A Sweat First Aid Kit at Work
Both for preventative use and as a response to a work sweat emergency, it’s a great idea to put a little sweat kit to keep at or take to work with you full of supplies that can help you manage sweat. This can include items like deodorant, antiperspirant, a towel, some cologne or perfume, your change of clothes (see above), and so on.
6. Watch What You Eat
No, we’re not telling you to go on a diet, but you should know that certain foods and drinks can actually make you sweat more that you should probably avoid eating for lunch at work. These include caffeinated beverages, alcohol, and spicy foods. If you can, it’s best to save these for having at home.
How Social Citizen’s Sweat-Proof Clothing Can Help You
If you’re looking for something that you can wear to work that won’t show your sweat, check out Social Citizen’s sweat-proof clothing. Whether your workplace is casual enough to let you wear a Social Citizen Polo to work, or you opt to wear one of Social Citizen’s Social Tees as an undershirt under more formal attire, you’ll be covered as far as sweat goes.
Social Citizen’s shirts are each made with a hidden underarm pad that absorbs sweat and stops 100% of sweat stains - guaranteed. Plus, the pads are made with naturally antimicrobial bamboo to keep you fresh and odor-free. Check them out today to find your confidence at work again.