We are having some of the UK’s warmest temperatures in history, with highs of over 40 degrees in some areas. Whilst there are some offices offering work from home for the red weather warnings, warm summers in general are looking to be increasingly common. In a similar way to extreme cold, extreme heat can have a huge impact on life in an office, especially due to the fact that the UK isn’t as prepared for high temperatures in the same way that other countries are around the world.

There are handy standardised guidelines for instances of heatwaves, and if employees have concerns surrounding temperature, employers are obliged to do a risk assessment to ensure the safety of their employees.

Office Heatwave Guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for extreme heat

    • Reschedule work to cooler times of the day
    • Provide more frequent rest breaks and introduce shading to rest areas
    • Provide free access to cool drinking water
    • Introduce shading in areas where individuals are working
    • Encourage the removal of personal protective equipment when resting to help encourage heat loss
    • Educate workers about recognising the early symptoms of heat stress

In addition, during a heatwave, the NHS has advised: ‘Stay out of the sun. Keep your home as cool as possible – shading windows and shutting them during the day may help. Open them when it is cooler at night.

‘Keep drinking fluids. If there’s anybody you know, for example, an older person living on their own, who might be at special risk, make sure they know what to do.’

Whilst clothing isn’t mentioned, making reasonable adjustments to an office dress code is another good way to ensure team members are comfortable, plus providing additional equipment such as fans and mobile air conditioning units.

HSE Office Heatwave Guidance for employees

    • Take regular breaks and drink lots of water
    • Stay hydrated to avoid feeling unwell at work
    • Dress in a manner that allows you to stay cool.

Rent an office this summer

If you’re looking for a shared office space to move into this summer in a rural location but with the convenience of being close to city centres and onsite facilities such as film studios, get in touch with Tannery Studios for more information on our flexible office rental contracts in Woking.