5 tips for clever office management during a heatwave
Today has been recorded as the #Hottest Day, London has ever seen in July, with temperatures reaching up to 36.9C in Heathrow, West London.
It is expected to even beat the all-time UK heat record of 38.5C later today!
For a city not used to heat there is bound to be some uncomfortable Londoners.
Here are some tips for office managers to keep their staff and offices, cool, calm and collected in the heat.
1. Relax the dress code and allow flexibility. Be understanding of staff dressing a little cooler in the heat to try and remain comfortable. Customers are likely to be feeling the same way and will be doing the same!
2. Allow flexible starting/finishing times. Some staff members may have a long commute into the office daily which they are normally comfortable with, however in the heat public transport can experience delays as well as become unbearably hot when overcrowded in peak travelling times. Consider allowing staff to arrive or leave at flexible times to avoid peak, congested times. Staff will be more comfortable and more likely to arrive ready to tackle the day.
3. Ensure your office is equipped. Effective office management should always involve planning ahead and therefore planning to keep the office cool in Summer is no different! In the months leading up to Summer ensure your office air conditioner is working well and has had undergone maintenance before it will be used extensively during Summer.
If you don’t have an office air conditioner, ensure you stock up on free standing, electrical fans that can be placed around the office for a cool breeze. Also check that all of the office windows are able to be opened to allow a fresh and hopefully cooler airflow.
4. Keep staff hydrated. Make sure that staff have access to plenty of cold water or at least a fridge where they will be able to cool drinks. Encourage staff to stay hydrated and keep drinking fluids throughout the day. You could encourage this by allowing more flexible tea breaks throughout the day if staff are unable to have drinks at their desks.
Apart from supplying staff with plenty of cold water another way to keep staff hydrated is to supply them with cold cans of soft drinks, icy poles or ice creams as a special Summer treat! It will boost staff morale and provide a motivation boost at the end of a hot day when staff are dreaming of being on holiday!
5. Avoid too much light. Direct sunlight through a window can add a lot of heat to an already hot room. If an office has a lot of sunlight this can increase the temperature quite a bit. Try to keep blinds and curtains closed where possible to avoid this.
Also try to switch off the lights in the office as well as any non-essential electrical appliances as these can also surprisingly generate quite a bit of unnecessary heat.
There are many benefits to using these tips as an office manager or as part of an office management plan to keep staff cool during harsh Summer heat waves. Not only will you have happier, healthier and more motivated staff but you will also have less absenteeism due to staff wanting to avoid an unpleasant and uncomfortable commute and long day in a hot office.