5 ways your business can beat the heat and seasonal productivity decline
Summer is brilliant for overall mental health and our social calendars however; it also causes a 20% decline in productivity and a whopping 45% increase in distractions. Businesses see a correlation between climbing temperatures and reduced staff motivation, especially those confined to office spaces.
Altering your business operations seasonally and ensuring your office is designed with comfort in mind, can help you prevent this summer slump.
Here are five helpful tips to help you through this season and keep the office running smoothly in the heat:
1. Create a cool office
Uncontrolled temperatures create an uncomfortable working environment, which reduces efficiency and morale. Not only do they directly impact productivity levels, but they can also become a safety issue if not addressed. Although there’s no law currently in place that sets a maximum temperature limit for businesses in the UK, providing a safe place to work is a requirement. A recent survey found that 50% of offices are considered to be too hot leading to heat-related absences.
If your office isn’t equipped with air conditioning, adding fans around workspaces could make a big difference. In addition to this temporarily relaxing your office dress code giving your employees the option to wear loose-fitting items in breathable materials can help them feel cooler and therefore aid productivity.
2. Provide plenty of water
Drinking the recommended daily intake of water is something that should be encouraged all year round. But it’s even more important to provide refreshments during the summer months.
Dehydration symptoms range from dizziness to headaches and can lead to a rise in staff illness, which causes direct drop-in productivity and resource. Make sure there are numerous water coolers available throughout your office so that staying hydrated is easy for your employees.
3. Strengthen the team
Don’t employ an all work and no play tactic - it’s almost guaranteed to hamper productivity, rather than increase it. Take the time to organise a staff event/ activity at both the beginning and end of summer.
There’s no shortage of ways you can engage employees and strengthen the group bond. Try starting summer with a fun day or group activity, and then when autumn comes; throw an end-of-summer party. Having something for people to look forward to can help tackle post-holiday blues and simultaneously boost productivity.
4. Encourage breaks
Encourage people to take breaks throughout the day. These can prevent them from becoming overworked and provide them with an opportunity to recharge. There’s the added benefit that a refreshed workforce can bolster motivation and creativity and reduce burnout during the hot months.
5. Be more flexible
There’s a lot of frustration that comes from sitting inside an air-conditioned office when a rare British heatwave hits. It may be worth checking with HR to see what can be done to allow more flexible working. Letting your employees leave earlier than usual can lift team morale and in turn, actually help increase satisfaction with the work-life balance.
Flexible working during the summer isn’t just designed to increase motivation; it can also help your employees stay safe while commuting. Choosing to travel to work earlier or later rather than during rush hour can help avoid the dangerous temperatures that public transport options are prone to during summer.
Help boost the summer slowdown by employing a seasonal strategy. Being prepared for the heat and rolling out a more flexible approach to work may lead to your office having its most productive summer yet.