Summer in the UK should be about spending time with your friends and family. It should be about going to the beach, having a BBQ, or being in a beer garden. Summer is a time for fun and relaxation. It’s when the flowers blossom and everything looks its best. However, in recent years this hasn’t been people’s primary feeling about summer. We are experiencing more extreme weather cycles than ever before. Our winters are cold and horrible, more so than they used to be, and our summers, characterised by extreme heat. We now spend so much of our summer hiding from the sun and figuring out how we can cope with the latest heatwave.
The office from hell
Ideally, we would spend the summer, lying in a dark room with a cold flannel on our foreheads. In reality, life doesn’t stop. There are still chores to do, and jobs that we must complete. Going to work when the sun is shinning is bad enough, but when the office is hotter than hell's furnace, it can be a nightmare.
Imagine arriving at work in the morning looking round at your employees and colleagues and seeing them sweating profusely and fanning themselves. No one is doing much work. They are too busy trying to cope with the heat, or just moaning about it. As the long day drags on the lethargy sets in, the pace slows, and even less work gets done. It’s uncomfortable and unproductive. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Ways to cope with extreme heat
Smart business attire sets a tone for how you want your office to operate. It presents a professional image and gives people confidence. It can also be a liability. When the heat is suffocating, wearing a shirt and tie will only exasperate the feeling. When faced with extreme heat its best to relax the dress code. The general secretary of the TUC, Frances O’Grady said “Clearly vest tops and shorts are not suitable attire for all front line staff, but those not dealing with the public should be able to discard their tights, ties and suits.”
This is key to surviving a heat wave. Dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue, and lethargy. In serious cases it can require medical attention. Make sure that there is an ample supply of cold water available. Remind staff that caffeine is a diuretic and can cause dehydration, so try to drink less tea and coffee.
Stay out of the sun
When it's hot the obvious thing to do can be to open the windows. Often all this does is let heat into the building. Keep windows closed during the day and if secure, open at night. Keep curtains and blinds shut on windows where the sun shines directly. The heat reaches its highest level between 11am and 3pm try to stay out of the sun at these times. If possible, allow more flexible working so people can take lunch breaks at different times. Allowing workers to come in earlier, before it gets too hot can also be helpful.
All the above ideas will help mitigate the worst of extreme heat, but it will still be hot. To maintain productivity and create a pleasant working environment you need to take action. Extreme heat is becoming increasingly common in the UK. Politicians are considering creating a maximum legal temperature. If the temperature in an office goes above 30C, then new legislation will allow the workers to leave. The only way to offset the heat completely is by having an air conditioning unit installed. This will create a stable and constant working environment, in which your staff can thrive. Peterborough air conditioning contractors offer installation, maintenance, inspections, and servicing on a range of units. If you want to create productive working conditions for your staff, then contact EOC services.