Summer In The Workplace
Here at The HR Booth, we are asked frequently over the last couple of weeks how organisations can motivate their employees during summer in the workplace.
We have been enjoying record breaking weather the last couple of weeks which is to continue further in to the summer months. This can be a positive idea for many, however, we know there are a few problems that can come from hot weather in the workplace. This can include higher levels of absence as employees phone in sick to enjoy the weather and a lack of staff motivation. You may also endure the usual arguments about workplace temperatures and conditions.
We have looked at some top tips on how to keep your staff motivated and engaged throughout this time of year.
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.
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. The last thing you want is your staff ill due to severe sun burns.
You should provide your employees with suitable drinking water. It is also essential to 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 even want to give your employees ice cream or ice lollies! This is a great way to keep your employees cool and motivate them at the same time. Providing bottled water can also be a nice gesture.
Employers are not under any obligation to relax their uniform or dress code requirements during hot weather. However, 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.
This will make your staff feel less uncomfortable during the day, allowing them to focus more on their work.
If public transport gets adversely affected by the hot weather, this could affect staff attendance. It can be effective to encourage employees to check timetables in advance to reduce the risk of being late.
Some workers may be more adversely affected by the hot weather. This can include the elderly, pregnant women or those on medication. Employers may wish to give them more frequent rest breaks. It can also be effective to ensure adequate ventilation is available by providing fans or portable air-cooling units. A short risk assessment would also help these employees.
Fasting during hot weather
Many Muslims have recently completed Ramadan. This involves fasting during the daylight hours and not eating food or drinking liquids. It is important to keep in mind for a future summer in the workplace to help those affected by holding meetings in the morning when energy levels are higher. You can also 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. Let’s enjoy it while we can!
How do you keep your employees motivated during summer weather? Let us know by contacting us through our website now!