Newsletters & articles

Don’t let people wilt in the heatwave - keep it cool at work!

With temperatures continuing to soar across the UK, it's understandable that a business may permit a relaxing of its dress code so that us poor Brits don’t melt at our desks. Jackets and blazers tend to be the first casualty, followed by ties, appropriate footwear and before you know it, Bob in accounts is wearing shorts and Lisa's entertaining clients in a crop top.

Of course, it would be rude not to go for a few beers in the sun after work, especially with the World Cup on. Never mind that there may be a few sore heads in the office the following morning, you've got to make the most of the good weather while it lasts!

Given that it is such lovely weather, it seems a shame to waste a lunch hour finishing up a piece of work whilst scoffing a sandwich at your desk. Dining al fresco is surely the only option, and no one will blame you for squeezing a couple of extra minutes of sunshine in before you head back…

Speaking of ice-cream, anyone?

And don’t forget that Amanda is having a BBQ this evening, so you'll definitely need to leave early to pick up some sausages before they run out!

We all enjoy a spell of nice weather and yes, we should make the most of it. However, businesses should ensure that standards of behaviour are maintained and continue to be respected whatever the weather. Allowing standards to slip in one aspect of your business can quickly lead to an "it will be fine" attitude developing, whereby employees seek to justify their own substandard behaviour (coming into work with a hangover) by someone else's substandard behaviour being permitted (Bob wearing shorts). That is if employees turn up to work at all, of course. In its tongue-in-cheek article " You're staying home, you're staying home: The fine art of pulling a World Cup sickie", The Telegraph estimates that 5 million fans took the day off following England's beating of Columbia the previous evening -

It's important to note that "allowing standards to slip" is not the same as making some reasonable concessions. If an employee's choice of footwear is more beach-ready than boardroom-ready on the hottest day of the year, does it really matter if they're not customer-facing and if the overall outfit is still smart? If a group of employees take a slightly longer lunch together in the sun, should the fact that they are late overshadow the benefits of team bonding?

Unfortunately, the good weather and good moods will not last forever. Seeking to "crack the whip" once the wind and rain returns may seriously impact morale and as such, employers should always seek to take a measured, reasonable and most of all consistent approach when managing behaviour.

That's not to say that team ice-cream doesn’t sound like an excellent idea…

If you need any help with managing behaviour in your workplace, please contact Claire or Rebecca in our employment team today on 029 2048 2288.

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