Procurement · 25 April 2017

Four ways to create a successful summer workplace environment

Summer workplace
For employers, it is important to communicate holiday booking policy early

Summer is just around the corner, which poses a unique set of challenges for a workplace.

However there are a number of things that can be done to ensure the sun always shines (in your office at least). These four tips can help create a successful summer workplace environment within your company.

Beat the (unlikely) heat

For the rare occasion where the temperature may attempt to top 30 degrees, a good workplace needs to be prepared. While there are hard and fast rules governing minimum workplace temperature, there are no such regulations for the top end.

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations of 1992 simply say: “During working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable.’”

However, if the temperature does become unreasonable, and nothing is done, employers can face reprimand. So, ensure your summer workplace is prepared by:

  • Installing thermometers to monitor rising temperatures
  • Checking and ensuring all air-conditioning, fans and windows work
  • Ensure there is a good supply of cold water
  • Insulate any exposed pipes carrying hot water
  • Arrange desks to ensure minimum exposure to the sun

If you want to learn more, there’s a guide to maximum workplace temperature regulations on Office Genie.

Take a break (and book it early)

The summer months are generally the most popular for holidays – so make sure you don’t fall foul and get your request in early. It’s a good idea to chat with fellow team members to try and minimise any potential clashes.

For employers, it is important to communicate holiday booking policy early, so everyone knows what to expect.

No-one likes being told they can’t take a holiday because the rest of their team is off – so try to deal with these things before they become issues. It also means you have plenty of time to look at alternatives such as hiring temporary staff.

Plant your way to success

If it’s nice outside, why not bring a little bit of the outdoors into your summer workplace? Studies have shown workers can be as much as 15 per cent more productive in a workplace with even a small number of few houseplants.

A bit of greenery can also improve air quality (which has a positive impact on people’s brainpower) and can make people happier. It might even help ease the pangs of longing for the outdoors (although this one is yet to be proven scientifically unfortunately).

Get out of there

If it’s particularly nice outside, why not go the whole hog and get outdoors yourself?

Arguably the best way to enjoy place of work in the summer is to escape it entirely. A bit of time out of the office can work wonders, whether it be a lunch break in a nearby park or a walking meeting.

At Genie we are particularly keen on the walking meeting, and why not? Stanford University researchers found creative capacity increases by as much as 60 percent when you are walking, while a walk in the sun has obvious benefits for both physical and mental health.

There are indeed all manner of opportunities for constructive outdoor activities in a workplace – everything from an outdoor charity social (such as river cleaning) or simply just starting up an after-work sports team.

Whatever you do, the office and the great outdoors needn’t be in conflict this summer.

Use these four tips to inspire some creativity within your summer workplace

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Peter Ames is the head of strategy for Office Genie, the first desk space marketplace in the UK – under the umbrella of Genie Ventures (a digital marketing and e-commerce company). The site is responsible for letting out millions of pounds worth of space to the country's small businesses and freelancers.

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