The recent cold snap has brought a plunge in temperatures not only outside but for some unlucky employees inside the office too
Black Monday, as it has been dubbed, has caused chaos on the motorways and with public transport but it has also caused a drastic fall in office temperature. Recent research from Office Genie has revealed that while more than half (57%) of office workers believe they would work more effectively from home in the cold weather, only 6% of bosses are willing to encourage their staff to work remotely in the colder weather.
Only 16% of organisations adopt a flexible working pattern during cold snaps. HSE guidelines state workplaces shouldn’t dip below 16°C, but when Office Genie asked respondents their ideal office temperature, the resounding answer was 20°C.
Even simple compromises such as supplying additional heating are not in place in 70% of offices, meaning employers are failing to comply to the government’s Health and Safety Executive’s advice.
To combat the cold, the following advice is given by the HSE:
- Provide adequate additional heating (portable heaters for example)
- Provide breaks in which employees can have hot drinks
- Prevent exposure to cold through:
- Designing processes to limit exposure
- Reducing draughts
- Insulating floors or providing suitable footwear if employees have to stand for long periods
- Providing suitable clothing for cold environments
- Adapt working patterns which allow employees to minimise exposure, things such as flexible working or job rotation