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How can employers help maintain productivity during a heatwave?

It may not be the months-long scorcher that we endured in 2018, but the 2019 heatwave is already proving to be pretty intense – no matter how short-lived it may turn out to be. As we’ve documented extensively before on the blog, the effects of rising temperatures can increase sluggishness and lower concentration times at work, which can make staying productive an ongoing challenge for employees.

Installing commercial air conditioning is one of the most effective ways to combat this, but as an employer, there are a number of other ways you can help make things easier, and maintain the overall productivity of your company in temperatures that are expected to hit 35C!

Take it easy on the tea and coffee

Boiling the kettle in the morning is a staple of office life, especially here in the UK, and even in the midst of summer you’ll rarely get to half past nine each morning before seeing someone with a steaming mug of something hot in their hand. But this isn’t an ideal situation during a heatwave, and it’s not necessarily to do with the temperature of the drinks. The caffeine in tea and coffee raises your heart rate, which in turn increases your blood flow and ultimately your body temperature. We’re not suggesting you lock the kettle away, but it could be worth a reminder to employees – it’s not something everybody knows!

Make sure everyone stays hydrated

This is perhaps one of the most important items on the list, and someone could even make the argument that it falls under an employer’s general duty of care to their employees. Realistically, many office managers probably won’t need to do much to ensure that their employees have access to proper drinking water, but if any employees are out on site, or doing manual work, it’s not a bad idea to make sure there are several litre bottles of water on hand. If in doubt, directly ask your employees if they’re getting enough to drink. If they’re not, they’ll tell you!

Relax your dress code

With the exception of personal protective equipment like coveralls and masks for certain specialist jobs, generally employers are under no legal obligation to relax their dress codes. However, business attire is not normally known for its lightweight, airy qualities, so for as long as the hot weather lasts it’s never a bad idea to relax the dress code for a bit, especially for those employees who aren’t directly client-facing.

Implement flexible working hours

While you may not be that keen on the idea normally, this can be a great way to get the best out of your employees during the hotter months, as it can help many of them avoid the worst of the stifling commutes they might have to face on the way into work. Plus, if you have larger numbers of employees, you might want to consider staggering their start and finish times, so that employees can choose to start earlier and leave earlier, or start later and finish later. This means that the office becomes a little less crowded at the beginning and end of the day, reducing the heat generated from working machines and sheer human body heat, and helping employees get the day off to a flying start – or power through their final few tasks!

Consider commercial air conditioning

By far one of the most effective and reliable ways to control the temperature in your office is by installing commercial air conditioning. Keeping your employees cool throughout the day helps to keep them more comfortable, and the science says that cool employees are happy employees.

Happily, that’s where we can help here at Askews. We have over 25 years of experience in heating, cooling and ventilation systems, and the expertise of our technicians is truly unrivalled. You can get a free quote using this link, or give us a call on 01282 863 825, and we’ll be happy to see how we can help!

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