How to prevent loss of productivity during a heatwave

How to prevent loss of productivity during a heatwave

Rombourne Blog

The higher temperatures can make you feel uncomfortable and, in some cases, causing a serious distraction. This means that as an employer, you’ll want to know how to keep your employees cool to prevent a loss of productivity during a heatwave.

However, it isn’t just reduced productivity that you need to be worried about during a heatwave. Due to many people being unprepared for its warmer temperatures, they can end up with dehydration or heatstroke. Both of these conditions can make you feel unwell, and they can be fatal if left untreated.

The UK has so far been fortunate this summer and with another heatwave it’s always good to be prepared! Here are our top tips for preventing a loss of productivity during a heatwave whether working within an office or remote working.

Keep The Office Environment Cool

In Britain (where we’re not used to humid conditions), the majority of us aren’t blessed to either work in an office with a built-in air conditioning system or to have this luxury at home. Fortunately, you can cool the room down by opening as many windows as possible, as well as investing in a number of portable air con units or desk fans. The latter is a particularly good option as they’re more cost effective. Additionally, unlike a bulkier air con unit, they can be easily moved around the office to where they’re needed most!

Supply Cold Water

The easiest way to do this? By providing a supply of cold water for them to easily help themselves to. This can be from a plumped-in watercooler, although a fridge stocked with bottled water is a good alternative if you don’t have one onsite.

Keep staff hydrated during a heatwave

Switch Up The Office Dress Code

Your business might have a certain image (and therefore dress code) that your staff need to adhere to but working in a warm office in a full suit isn’t the most comfortable. Luckily, your employees can still look smart and presentable with a few tweaks to their regular dress code.

For example, give them the option to swap crisp long-sleeved shirts for lightweight and breathable linen shirts, as well as polo shirts and plan t-shirts. Each of these options can be teamed with a blazer for meetings. You could also allow them to wear appropriate length shorts if they’re not required to attend meetings.

If you are working remotely you can still keep cool and look professional for any online video conferences you have planned. Many I am sure are wearing shorts and flip flops under the desk out of the camera’s vision!

Provide Additional Rest Breaks

In the UK, employees are entitled to one uninterrupted 20-minute rest break when they work for over 6 hours. However, during a heatwave, it’s even more vital to ensure that your staff leave the office to get some cool, fresh air. One way to achieve this is by moving meetings outside wherever possible. This may be easy to do whilst working remotely if you have a garden or balcony with some shaded areas.

Alternatively, give employees an extended lunch, or even an additional 10 or 15-minute break in the afternoon. Remember to be aware that temperatures are typically highest between 12 PM– 3 PM, as a little bit of employee care can go a long way. Happy employees are more productive employees, after all.

Looking for a serviced office with great facilities, professional staff and flexible options? Rombourne have a great range of modern and attractive looking offices in thriving locations throughout the UK. Contact us for more information.