30.07.2013 Rain or Shine: Still be productive

UK workers have a tough time of it, no matter what time of the year according to absence statistics. However, come rain or shine: still be productive.  In the winter, sickness levels rise by a shocking 27%, and with up to 91% of absences in 2013 being attributed to ‘non-work-related illness’ it’s no wonder that absence levels increase.

On top of this, the weather also affects absence. In 2013, 9% of absence was related to travel or weather disruptions be it rain, snow or even heat, as is the case currently.

The British summer is not normally as tropical as this and the heat is causing a drop in the productivity of UK workers. A NASA study found that productivity drops by 3.6% for every degree over 22 degrees, which predicts huge losses for the UK, given temperatures reached 31 degrees in London during this week.

As the heatwave continues, research also suggests that workers won’t be given a break from the humidity, as our homes are not designed for this type of weather. With less than 0.5% of UK housing having any sort of air conditioning combined with a national penchant for single aspect designed housing (meaning no cross ventilation or draughts) and lots of insulation for the usual British winters, we are given little solace from the heat.

By allowing your employees to change activities, take ‘refreshing breaks’ and control the conditions of their workspace, the severe drop in productivity can be reduced. In summertime, relaxing on uniform standards can make employees feel better from the minute they get dressed by allowing them not only a cooler day, but a cooler commute to and from work. Likewise, scheduling heavy workloads during the hottest times of the day is very unproductive. Getting the heavier workloads done earlier or later in the day will prevent higher levels of lethargy in the afternoon.

Absence trends are inherent in all organisations and can reveal a lot about workplace conditions. Identifying those trends allow you to see how you can improve your employee’s daily surroundings for higher productivity and lower absence rates. Get in touch with us to see what’s slowing down your workforce …


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Information source (article), Honeydew Health

July 2013.


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