HR & Employment Law Insights

Helping family businesses, start-ups, charities, social enterprises, and other growing or established businesses throughout the UK make sense of HR and Employment Law challenges.

We get asked HR related questions every day and each week we will be sharing our top question of the week that we have been asked here at The HR Booth.

Question

Here at  The HR Booth, we have been getting asked frequently over the last couple of weeks how organisations can motivate their employees while we bask in this hot weather that we have been having.

As we know there are a few problems that can come from the good weather in the workplace, higher levels of absence as employees phone in sick to enjoy the weather, lack of staff motivation and the usual arguments about workplace temperatures and conditions.

Guidance

Here are some tips on how to keep your people motivated and engaged at this time of year:

Temperatures – whilst there is no upper limit on temperature, employers should ensure this is reasonable and take steps, particularly in kitchen areas to carry out risk assessments.

Keeping cool – if you have fans or air conditioning, please use these where possible.  It’s also a good idea to keep any blinds closed to prevent the sun shining into your workplace.  If you have employees who work outside, they should wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen – it’s up to you whether you would want to provide this but if not you should certainly be keeping your employees up to date on the risks.

Keep hydrated – you should provide your employees with suitable drinking water and you should encourage your employees to drink plenty of water throughout the day.  Again, if you have employees working outside, please ensure they have plenty of supplies.  As a gesture, you may event want to give your employees ice cream or ice lollies!

Dress code - employers are not under any obligation to relax their uniform or dress code requirements during hot weather but where possible it may be advisable to for employers to relax the rules for wearing ties or suits.  If you can relax your dress code slightly then this would definitely help.

Transport- if public transport gets adversely affected by the hot weather, this could affect staff attendance and their ability to get to work on time. Employees should check timetables in advance.

Vulnerable employees - some workers may be more adversely affected by the hot weather such as the elderly, pregnant women or those on medication. Employers may wish to give them more frequent rest breaks and ensure ventilation is adequate by providing fans or portable air-cooling units.  A short risk assessment would also help these employees.

Fasting during hot weather - many Muslims are currently observing Ramadan and fasting during the daylight hours which involves not eating food or drinking liquids. Employers may help those affected by holding meetings in the morning when energy levels are higher or consider a temporary change in working hours.  If you can provide facilities to support employees participating in Ramadan that would also help productivity levels.

As is normal with our summers, I’m sure it’s only a few weeks down the line when the workplace discussions will centre on putting the heating on so let’s enjoy it while we can!

 

YOUR TURN

How do you keep your employees motivated during summer weather?

Let us know by joining the conversation in the comments section below.