The Sun Strikes Back: How to Keep Your Employees From Melting

Person working in a hot office

The sun has finally graced us with its presence in the UK, but for many employees, it’s less “Vitamin D boost” and more “personal sauna” situation. Sure, sunshine might make everyone a little chipper… until they turn into puddles of sweat at their desks.

While sunshine can boost moods, extreme temperatures can disrupt workplaces and make employees miserable. This isn’t just about physical discomfort like sweating and headaches. The heat can also zap energy levels, increase irritability, and lead to clashes between colleagues (think air conditioning wars!). The result? A drop in productivity and a potential for a tense work environment.

So, how can you keep your employees cool, comfortable, and focused during heatwaves?

Embrace Remote Work (Strategically): The pandemic normalised remote work, and for some employees, it offers a cool escape during heatwaves. However, not everyone has air conditioning at home.  Consider a hybrid approach, allowing employees who can to work remotely while those without cool home environments benefit from the office’s AC.

 Invest in Cool Comforts: Employees appreciate employers who prioritise their well-being.   Provide fans(because let’s be real, working with a single sheet of paper as a fan is a recipe for disaster), and relax the dress code to allow for lighter, more breathable clothing.

Open Communication is Key: Finding the perfect temperature can be tricky. Involve your team in discussions about keeping cool. Allow employees to adjust their workspace within reason (think moving closer to a window or fan).

Prioritise Vulnerable Employees: Pregnant women, those with health conditions, and menopausal women are more susceptible to heatstroke. Offer them additional support, such as portable fans or flexible work hours.

Plan Ahead and Stay Legal: While there’s no set temperature law, employers have a legal responsibility to ensure a “reasonable” work environment. This means taking proactive measures to keep employees cool and comfortable during heat waves. Conduct risk assessments and make necessary adjustments to minimise health and safety risks.

By following these tips, you can create a cooler, happier, and more productive work environment during even the hottest spells. Remember, a comfortable employee is a productive employee!

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