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Hot under the collar? Tips to prevent your staff wilting in the heat

By Jo Hodge on 22 Jun 2017

We do like to moan about the weather in the UK. It’s always too hot, too cold, the  
wrong kind of rain. ​I personally like the heat, but preferably when I am sat beside a pool and don’t have to move! Unfortunately in the UK, public transport and offices often don’t cope well with the heat, trains come to a halt and air conditioning systems that have worked during the coldest months fail. We can’t all take our
laptop down to the beach to work for the day, so we have put together our top tips
​in helping to alleviate some of the discomfort from the heat for your employees.

Test systems early

Ensure your air conditioning/ fan systems are tested and regularly maintained to try and eliminate the chance of them failing. If they do fail, make sure you have the contact details and plan in place to get them up and running again as quickly as possible.

Plan for sudden annual leave request and sick leave

You may get a sudden influx of people asking to book leave last minute or more sickness than usual, plan for staff shortages and make sure staff are aware of policies for booking time off, for example how much notice is needed, or not to book anything until it is approved by their manager.

Relax the dress code

You want staff to feel comfortable at work, so where possible relax the dress code, obviously any safety garments should still be worn.

Flexible working

Some people will have issues getting to and from work with public transport, so again where possible allow staff to come in late or finish early. If you already have a flexible working policy in place, be prepared for more staff absence outside of your core business hours and ensure you have enough team cover.

Access to cold drinks

Ensure there is cold water/ drinks available for staff, it is important to stay hydrated in the heat. If they can’t have drinks on them during their shift, give staff extra breaks for drinks.

Monitor the temperature

Monitor the temperature inside your building. Although there is no maximum legal temperature for working in the UK, it should be reasonable and if you are getting lots of complaints from staff then you should carry out a risk assessment.

Finally if budgets allow, treat your staff to an ice cream! This can really boost morale when people are stuck inside on a nice sunny day and can be fairly cheap when bought in bulk. Now let’s enjoy the rest of this heatwave before it rains!

You might also be interested in:
4 top tips on managing your employee’s wellbeing in the workplace
Supporting carers in the workplace