How to keep your business running in hot weather

It can get particularly uncomfortable when working in an office during summer’s high temperatures. This is especially true if you have a fairly formal dress code or if the building does not insulate well. In situations such as these, employee productivity can take a dip. In recent posts, we’ve talked about the dress code in the summer and how employers can adapt. We’ve also written about the risks of heat stress for outdoors workers and how to protect them on hot days.

Thermal comfort at work

Thermal comfort should be measured by the number of employees complaining about the temperature, in order to satisfy the majority of people.

Why is thermal comfort important?

If you find yourself asking how to increase employee productivity in summer, looking at thermal comfort is a key starting point. A comfortable working temperature raises moral, in addition to improving health and safety. An employee’s ability to concentrate on a task can be significantly hindered be very high temperatures, for example.

Maximum workplace temperature

In cases where the minimum workplace temperature is pitched at 16°C or 13°C for physically demanding tasks then there is no suggested maximum acceptable temperature. This is due to the fact that in place such as foundries, it is still possible to work if the right controls are present. No minimum or maximum temperatures are currently being enforced by law. However, it is in the interest of the employer to ensure that workplace temperature is kept under control.

Keep your staff productive in heat

There are a few things that employers can do to encourage employee productivity during a heatwave or a hot day.

  • Install air conditioning or provide fans to ensure staff have access to cool air. Or, open windows to create a cool draft.
  • Provide fresh drinking water and a cooler break room, if possible.
  • Encourage people to take extra breaks if they need to. Perhaps go into a cooler room or have a drink of water.
  • Try to arrange flexible working hours. Give employees the opportunity to come in earlier in the day and have a rest during the hottest hours.
  • Shade windows from direct sunlight exposure.
  • Temporarily relax formal dress codes to increase employee comfort levels.

It could be useful for employers to identify who is most at risk. Look for those who have medical conditions or are taking medications which are putting them at risk. Pregnant women should also be considered as being more at risk.

Make sure that you monitor your employees’ well-being during hot days and gather feedback on how you can improve working conditions.

In need of more specific advice? Don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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