Why a heatwave is great for Employer Employee relations


It’s safe to say, as a nation of hard workers, we do tend to struggle with the variation our good old British weather systems throws up from time to time! The slightest flurry of snow causes the phone to ring and workers explain how unsafe it is to travel in to the office. Then with unforgettable weeks like this one we are experiencing where temperatures are soaring to above 30 degrees, those lacking air conditioning are certainly left feeling the effects of the heatwave. Whilst there are no official laws about working in such conditions Employers, use this opportunity wisely. Remember, most of us are working with Millennials; A new breed of employee. Long gone are the days where a comfy chair and a well structured pension plan was enough to appease staff. We are now in the age whereby it’s all colourful beanbags, flexi time and fresh fruit that are considered ‘perks of the job’.

It’s never ideal to give give give, but in extreme circumstances take the opportunity to be seen as a considerate employer. It’s also a great way to keep morale high in tricky conditions. Some ideas I’ve been hearing this week are:

  1. Earlier start, earlier finish – For those that aren’t restricted to times, this gives people a lot of satisfaction so they can get home early and enjoy the rays. Don’t fret, you can always go home early too.
  2. Regular breaks (with a twist) – I think three times this week one of the team has gone out to collect ice creams for everyone. Also, it’s a great opportunity to generate a positive morale by lunching together in the sun. At one of my clients offices , they were holding Swingball competitions and a paddling pool to dip their feet into during lunch!
  3. Home working – Air conditioning units would have been going into overdrive but not every office is blessed with a fully functioning system. We know during these sporadic weather bursts, fan sales go through the roof so to avoid uncomfortable working conditions some bosses allowed staff to take work home with them. rather than have your staff sweltering in stuffy offices, get the best out of them by trusting them to work from the comfort of their back garden!
  4. Shorter hours – Not every employer’s favourite but where you are reliant on structured hours, allowing your team to leave an hour or two earlier will only enhance your reputation as someone who cares and puts your staff first. A nice touch, let’s face it, things will be back to normal in no time.
  5. Looser dress code – Even the Queen didn’t wear her Royal finery when delivering her speech on Wednesday. This is a popular move by Employers to allow the dress code to be slightly more ‘relaxed’. Of course, with everything like this, controversy is never far away. This link is a funny example of this.

Whatever you do, enjoy the hot weather and don’t allow it to effect performance. But use it to your advantage and earn yourself some valuable Employer / Employee relationship points.

Thanks for reading