Hopefully the beautiful summer sun has reached where you are! We're based in Salisbury where we've had a good few weeks of the warmer weather, and we couldn't be happier!
Naturally the heat can have some less desired effects such as staff being distracted and wishing they worked outside, arguments over the right temperature (not too hot, not too cold) and a general sense of lethargy.
We've pulled together five top tips to help keep the morale up in the office and benefit from the summer sun...
Keep everyone hydrated! It goes without saying - if the temperature in the office is warmer than usual encourage everyone to drink more water. Hydration has a real impact on mood and concentration. Drinking more water will help your staff to feel more alert, concentrate better and prevent or alleviate any headaches. If you don't have a water cooler consider putting jugs of water in the fridge. If staff prefer water with flavour bring in some cordial or squash. If you really want staff to focus on hydration (and have some fun!) why not introduce a little competition to see how much water individuals or teams can drink in a week?
Get outside on breaks. Managers should be making sure that their teams get away from their work and taking adequate breaks throughout the day. Encourage staff to get outside in the fresh air - perhaps organise a team walk over lunch or head out to a local coffee shop for a team meeting if it's suitable. Look out for local events which staff can head to over lunch, to absorb that vitamin D and community spirit!
Relax the dress code. Your staff may feel more comfortable to work in more causal clothes when it's warmer in the office. This may not be an option for everyone - some professions have set expectations and some jobs require a specific uniform or protective clothing. It's doesn't have to mean that everyone turns up to work in flip flops and Hawaiian shirts. Small changes like allowing smart shorts instead of trousers or shirts without ties can also be a benefit to hot and bothered staff.
Consider equipment to reduce the temperature. The heat will be less of an issue if your organisation operates in a nice air-conditioned office. For those who don't, and feel their office space is hot and stuffy, consider if there would be value in investing in equipment such as fans or mobile air-conditioning units to help reduce the temperature. Staff may suggest if they can bring in their own fans from home but be wary of the health and safety implications of having electrical equipment in the office which hasn't been safety checked by a recognised professional.
Be flexible about working hours. If the heat is really impacting your staffs ability to concentrate at work, evaluate if being flexible around start and finish times of the day could help. For example, you may have staff who commute during peak hours and find it a real struggle to do so in the heat, arriving to work miserable! They may prefer to start earlier in the day to avoid the hot commute. If you have the technology available you could also offer for staff to work from home if the temperature in the office is persistently hot. Just ensure that staff know what is expected of them (level of work to be completed) and test your technology in advance - for example if you are diverting office calls to mobiles.