March heatwave risks seeing office workers swelter
If businesses want to maximise workplace productivity over the coming week, they may need to have policies in place for coping with the unseasonably hot weather.
The UK has been hit by a surprise heatwave – with temperatures warmer in Manchester on Monday than in Athens, the capital of Greece.
This week’s warm weather is expected to see temperatures reach the 20s in some parts of the country, significantly higher than those normally witnessed in late March.
Britain has a high pressure system in the North Sea – which is sucking in warm air from France and northern Continental Europe – to thank for its glorious weather.
Met Office forecaster Helen Chivers told the MEN it is “extremely warm for the time of year. She noted that the last time March saw equivalent temperatures was in March 2005.
But while the weather is sure to make for some super evenings outside this week, many office workers risk suffering the dual effects of a scorching sun and central heating indoors.
With many companies yet to turn down the thermostat, temperatures in serviced office space could quickly become uncomfortable for members of the workforce.
As such, employers need to think about their staff and ensure office temperatures are managed properly and air conditioning systems are turned on and fully operating.
According to the University of Oxford, people start to find it uncomfortable to work in an office where the temperature exceeds 30°C.
“Before resorting to fans or air conditioning consider opening the window,” the institution advises.
“In most cases having an open window and office door will draw sufficient air through the office to keep the temperature at a workable level.”