Remy Morland, Head of HR Consultancy at Swindon’s HR Dept gives her top tips for keeping your team cool this summer.
Relax your dress code – Being uncomfortable in the heat can be a real distraction. A quick win to increase comfort during a heatwave is to relax your workplace dress code. Better that the guidance comes from you before employees take it upon themselves to switch up their style in the office.
Airflow – If you have air-con, great! If you don’t, keep windows open if you can and have some fans going to help maintain a regular airflow.
Just remember to weight or store any important papers to stop them from blowing around.
Hydration – Adequate drinking water should be made available, and it can help to remind staff of the importance of staying hydrated. If you don’t have one, consider bringing in a water cooler.
Flexible working – Allowing staff to come in a little earlier or later may help them avoid a busy and stifling commute, and thus show up fresh faced and prepared for work.
Hybrid working – If you operate a hybrid working model, consider allowing staff to work from home during the heatwave, so that they can better manage their comfort.
Outside workers – If you have employees working outside, it could be necessary to reschedule work to avoid the hottest parts of the day.
Ice creams – If you’ve got the budget for it, bringing the team a selection of ice creams at the end of the week is a small gesture likely to be well received. Don’t forget dietary needs like dairy free, though.
Managing absences in a heatwave
Following the above, you hopefully won’t have any heat related sickness absence. If you do though, make sure employees follow the usual procedures for reporting their absence. On their return they should be interviewed and if you’re concerned about summer sickies, you can investigate further.
You may well get a surge of legitimate holiday requests too, as people want to get out and enjoy the sun. If you receive requests that clash, be fair and consistent in your decisions.
To find out more about the Swindon, North Wiltshire and East Cotswolds HR Dept call 01793 683 398 or click here to visit the website.