Finally, warm weather is here and we are officially in a heatwave. But is it too hot to work productively?
If you weren’t sure, the official definition of a heatwave is at least three consecutive days with daily maximum temperatures meeting the heatwave threshold, which varies between 25C and 28C across the UK.
Temperatures are expected to climb to 32C, which, compared to the wet, dull summer we have, could be quite a shock to the system!
Hot weather is all very well if you are on holiday, and can lounge by the pool, but if you have to carry on the normal working day, remaining productive can be a challenge. You may be feeling too hot to work; or, if you work indoors, you may feel demotivated, because you’re not outside enjoying the sunshine.
Not only that, the heat can bring health-related challenges. Heat can lead to dehydration, and being outside in the sun can cause heatstroke. Both conditions can make you feel unwell and, in extreme cases, prove fatal.
So, how do you keep working in a heatwave and, importantly, keep your employees cool, healthy and motivated?
1. Cool It
If your offices are air-conditioned, then keeping the temperature cool will not present a problem. But, if your offices aren’t blessed with aircon, then an alternative might be to invest in portable aircon units or desk fans. Fans, in particular, are very handy to locate in the places they are most needed i.e., with the members of your team who most suffer from the heat.
Remember to power down electrical units like computers and monitors when they aren’t needed, as these may be emitting warm air which adds to the heat. It’s also more environmentally friendly, and better for your utilities bill.
If you have window blinds or curtains, keep them closed to block out some of the heat.
2. Keep Water On Tap!
Sorry about the pun, but providing easy access to cool water will benefit the team. You can install a plumbed-in water cooler or just stock the fridge with bottled water. This will help encourage your team to stay hydrated.
Why not put treats like lollies and ice creams in the freezer, so that people can help themselves too? There’s nothing like a cool snack to boost morale and productivity at the same time.
3. Dress Down
You may already have a business where shorts, sun dresses and loose clothing are perfectly acceptable. But if your office dress code is more ‘suited and booted’ why not consider relaxing this, while the heatwave lasts?
Sitting in a jacket and tie, and feeling hot and bothered, will have a detrimental effect on productivity and morale. Short sleeves, linen shirts, cotton T’s and loose clothing made of breathable fabric are much more comfortable to work in.
4. More Rest Breaks
Over and above the statutory rest breaks, add in some more so your team can recharge. They could even get outside for a few minutes, to sit in the shade, and relax and cool down.
Alternatively – or as well – extend the lunch break by ten to 15 minutes. Temperatures are at their highest in the middle of the day, so a longer break at this time will be appreciated. There is a reason why, in Mediterranean countries, they have a longer lunch and afternoon siesta but work on into the evening.
At Rombourne, we are lucky that some of our serviced offices are air-conditioned, so the businesses based with us find it much easier to stay at a comfortable temperature. Plus, we have kitchens and breakout areas where people can have a rest and recharge their batteries.
If you are interested in serviced offices and have decided that Bristol, Cardiff, Newport or Swindon – is the ideal location, then please get in touch with the Rombourne team. We would love to show you around.