As your Facebook and Twitter feeds probably keep informing you, the summer weather has finally returned, and this time it looks set to stay.
While there’s no doubt that the sunshine improves moods, it can also have a negative effect on staff.
The warm weather and dreams of holidays, BBQs and a refreshingly cold Pimm’s can make employees desperate to leave the office in order to catch some of the sunshine. The result? A serious decrease in productivity.
So, what can you do to make sure your workers stay engaged as the summer progresses?
Control office air temperature
No matter how many cups of coffee you’ve had, the heat will inevitably make you feel drowsy. This lethargy will certainly impact productivity.
Control the heat in the office by ensuring there’s plenty of shade and windows or invest in air con — just make sure staff know who is in control of setting the temperature, otherwise you’ll risk the start of thermostat wars.
Businesses also have a legal obligation to keep the office temperature under control. There isn’t a legal maximum safe working temperature, but health and safety body HSE requires office temperatures be “reasonable”. This is a rather vague description, however the Trades Union Congress (TUC) recommends safe working temperatures of no more than 27 degrees Celsius for manual workers and 30 degrees for sedentary workers.
Overheated workplaces don’t just impact productivity, they can lead to serious health implications, from dehydration to dizziness and even fainting.
Allow staff to choose where they work
There are sure to be parts of your office that are warmer than others. Limit the amount of time people spend in these literal hotspots by enabling your staff to have a range of spaces to work.
Ensure staff have plenty of breaks
It’s surprising how much heat is generated from your computer or laptop, so workers sat in front of a screen all day could end up overheating — especially if their desk is nowhere near a window or the air con.
Allow for extra breaks on the hottest days to allow staff to cool down. The break should also help them come back with a fresh mindset!
Letting staff catch some of the rays during the day should also stop them itching to leave the office all afternoon.
Ensuring staff have access to cold drinks, and maybe even some ice, will help reduce the risk of dehydration and will be greatly valued by your workers.