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25 July 2018

How to beat the heat at work

beach shop hut

The past few weeks have seen the UK baked in a prolonged heatwave, which for many will be a welcome sight after several disappointing summers, but it can be an issue for some in the workplace.

Productivity is an area that can take a hit in these intense spells of sunshine, as workers arrive at the office, tired from an uncomfortable night sleep but then struggling in the heat of the day.

So while it isn’t always possible to make certain changes, there are a few things that employers can do:

  • Is there scope to dress down?
  • Could working hours be altered, especially those involved in work that exposes people to heat
  • Can extra breaks for water and refreshments be brought in?
  • Is there a good airflow going through the office?
  • Could you invest in fans or air conditioning?

Some sectors will find making changes harder than others, particularly those in the health or food industry as well as those who wear specific clothing for religious reasons. The heat could also be a positive for many, providing a driving force for domestic tourism.

The current law stipulates that employers must ensure “reasonable” working conditions, but there are no maximum temperature limits for the workplace.

With daytime temperatures soaring above 30 degrees Celsius, working conditions can become difficult for some, especially the young, elderly or those with medical conditions.

Businesses have to remain resilient come rain or shine, but as many take the strain in this current weather, it is that flexible approach that can make all the difference.