There are many secrets in life to keeping your head when things get hot, but do you know how to keeping your top?  Or, put another way, when it’s hot at work, how do you keep your staff both comfortable and decent!


Obviously it will very much depend on what line of business you are in.  Letting your staff dress casually might be fine if they are in a back office, but going topless on a building site might be more dangerous than getting hot.  Keeping safety gear on and organising regular rest breaks in the shade, with plenty of access to water is probably safer!


If you are going to relax dress codes, make sure it’s clear what is acceptable.  Seeing the office junior wandering around in just a banana hammock is probably going to do more to raise temperatures than the current heat wave, especially if your office junior is a woman!  However you may not be able to discipline him (or her) if you haven’t made the criteria clear. 


If your office doesn’t have air con, can you rent a few machines for a week or two?  Or perhaps offer a bit of flexibility in terms of hours.  If staff can come in early before the trains get too hot, and then leave early and do a few hours from home, what you may lose in productive you may gain in loyalty.  What’s more, if your staff are happy and feel appreciated, they may be even more productive despite possibly doing shorter hours.


If you are going to make changes, make sure you treat everyone the same.  For example agency staff have the same rights as employees, and so must be treated the same.


It’s also a good idea to make sure everyone knows exactly what changes you are making and for how long.  If it’s not clear, then staff may be able to argue that changes have become permanent or that it wasn’t clear those changes had come to an end.


And if you are finding all of this too hot to handle, just remember that in only 12 weeks it will be November and we will all be complaining that it’s too cold, trying to get the hearting working effectively and wondering where you packed your gloves!


Kleyman and co solicitors.  The full service law firm.  Legal advice for all seasons!