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The Heat Is On – Running A Business In A Changing Climate

– Contributed content –

Thermometers graphic

(wynpnt, Pixabay)

21 August 2018. In years to come, we will look back on the summer of 2018 and summarize it with a single word: “hot”. This is the year where records have been broken across the world, as a global heatwave took hold and then remained in place for longer than anyone thought possible.

Unfortunately, due to climate change, these periods of excessive heat are likely to become more and more common in the years to come. This is a problem all of humanity needs to confront, but is a particular concern for business owners. It would seem that as our climate changes, business owners will need to focus on keeping their employees cool just as much as generating profits and managing their costs.

The impact of extreme heat in the workplace

We’ve all been taught to appreciate heat; to love the feel of the sun on our skin, to see a cloudless sky as a good thing. However, the simple reality is that heat is inherently dangerous, and extreme heat is incredibly dangerous. As extreme heat is likely to become more and more common over the next few decades, it is essential to implement measures to manage this in your workplace.

Studies have shown that a workplace being “too hot” is the number one concern for employees – and this should, in turn, concern business owners. If employees are overheated, their productivity will drop, staff morale will suffer, and you may even see employees falling unwell during their working day.

What can be done?

While it is beneficial to work in as environmentally-friendly way as possible, the immediate problem must also be dealt with.

In many ways, the solutions to these issues are rather basic:

  • Install air conditioning on your premises
  • Ensure all employees have access to water
  • Allow employees to take more, and longer, breaks during periods of extreme heat

However, these measures alone are not sufficient to manage extreme heat. You will need to look at “outside the box” remedies also:

  • One of the side effects of a heatwave is extra demand on the power grid, which can lead to brown- and black-outs. To prepare for such eventualities, it is worth contacting your local Generac dealer to explore options to ensure you will always be able to run air conditioning at your premises.
  • It is also worth thinking about preventing the heat inside your premises from becoming too extreme in the first instance. Options such as blackout blinds and UV film for windows can be incredibly beneficial in this regard.
  • Finally, your employees having to commute to your place of business during extreme heat can put them in genuine danger. As a result, ensuring you have a system in place that allows remote working may be a sensible choice.

In conclusion

The heatwave of this summer is not an outlier, so change is needed now to ensure that your company can continue to operate at its best during periods of extreme heat. A combination of the options above should help ensure business continuity even during the hottest of summer days, and assist in ensuring you and your staff are as protected as possible from a changing climate in future.

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