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Employee Productivity VS The Weather

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The summer months are edging closer and our days in the office continue, but lunches at the desk and the heating on full blast, has shifted to lunches sat in the park with colleagues and Ice-cream treats for the team. These aren’t the only changes that the improvement in the weather has had on our working lives; it has been proven that the weather can have a direct effect on employee productivity in the office but not always in the way that you might first think. The weather creates different mood responses in different people, so I looked into these responses and I’ve broken down the positive and negative effects that different weathers can have and found some ways that we can keep productivity high, no matter the weather.

Rainy Days

A rainy day is typically a gloomy day in the office. You’ve had to run into work to avoid getting drenched after the sixth umbrella you’ve bought this year has failed you again and turned inside out, and that’s if you remembered to take it home in the first place. The mood of employees will generally be lower as there is no sunlight to cheer them up and the general conversation to start the day will be all about the rubbish weather because let’s be honest, no one’s happy to see rain. This low mood to start the day commonly causes little motivation and sets a slow lethargic pace for the day’s work.

However, rain does not always have a negative impact on employee productivity. Certain team members with a more proactive personality and work ethic will experience heightened productivity on a rainy day. When some employees look out the window and see rain and clouds, they prefer to avoid the outdoors for the day. Therefore, they will be at the desk longer, and complete work faster as they are not distracted by temptations of outdoor activities.

What’s the fix?

If you find that you’re negatively affected by these rainy days, try and shake this off with a hot drink and maybe some team biscuits to lift the mood; because everyone loves biscuits!

Sunny Days

The bright and sunny weather will most often lift the mood in the office, putting everyone in a great mood, unless it’s ‘too hot’ (which isn’t often). Those who love the increase in temperature will come into the office with a smile on their face, and have all intentions that today is going to be a GOOD DAY. Be careful though, as this can also cause the focus to shift and the sun lovers can be completely preoccupied with ideas of what to do after work, that they don’t spend much time focusing on what to do whilst their still at work.

The employees who aren’t in favour of the heat and prefer the shaded life, will probably arrive at work in a foul mood, and generally want to stay in a cool air-conditioned environment for as long as possible, whilst telling the office how hot they are and how they just can’t cope with this type of weather. The heat can cause employees to feel sleepy and unable to concentrate on their work as all they can think about is how the temperature in the office is akin to the Sahara!

What’s the fix?

In these conditions make sure that air conditioning is on at a nice cool temperature, or if there’s a nice breeze outside, crack open those windows and let the fresh air come through the office. Couple this with plenty of ice cold water and while you’re at it, might as well get the Ice-cream round in for the team. This allows the whole team to take a quick break and rejuvenate their energy before tackling the second half of the day.

Freezing Cold Days

For some employees these days aren’t so bad, they’ve walked to work all wrapped up and luckily the early starters have wacked that heating up high. Some people are less vulnerable to the drop in temperature (MEN-it’s a fact) and they struggle to see what all the fuss is about. The individuals who do feel the cold however, are sat at their desks with blankets and hot water bottles and their scarf still wrapped round their neck, this lowers the mood and drive of said employees, as they are uncomfortable and concentrating more on when the feeling will come back to their feet.

The chilly temperature is not the only factor affecting the mood of employees, it’s also the lack of sunlight, the low vitamin D levels result in low mood. The days are shorter and when you get to work it’s still dark and by the time 6 o’clock comes and you leave to head home it’s still dark. The gloom outside however does encourage people to stay in the bright lights of the office and more time at their desk, which can result in an increase in productivity and stop any distractions that you might get in the hotter months, because no one wants to be in a beer garden in November.

What’s the fix?

Although you don’t feel like it, try and venture out for just 15 minutes on your lunch, this fresh cold air will wake you up and help you feel the benefit of the heat in the office. Also a brisk walk through the park can help warm your body temperature and get the feeling back in your feet. Failing that, a hot drink and 5 minutes with your hands under the dryer should help.
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