How Weather Affects Employee Productivity

How Weather Affects Employee Productivity

Employee productivity in the workplace is one of the key components of a successful business. As most companies pay their employees on a salary or by the hour, they want to ensure that their team members are getting the maximum amount of work completed in the given time frame. In other words, they want more bang for their buck.

Productivity is generally the result of an individual’s work ethic. Those who portray an effective work ethic are generally more productive than those who do not portray an effective work ethic. However, due to human nature, we are all susceptible to various other factors that affect the way we work.

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sfllaw via Flickr

One of these factors is – the weather. Determining the productivity level of each employee in various weather scenarios is an impossible task. The weather creates different mood responses in different people. So we’ve broken down the two sides to each weather story – and how you can encourage employee productivity in these situations.

Rainy Days

A rainy day is a gloomy day. The moods of employees will generally be lower as there is no sunlight to cheer them up. However, rain does not always have a negative impact on employee productivity.

The most common impact employers will experience from a rainy day is lower employee productivity. Employees are less motivated and simply complete tasks to head home and hopefully stay dry.

However, certain team members with a more proactive personality and work ethic will experience heightened productivity on a rainy day. When an employee looks out the window and sees rain and clouds, they prefer to stay indoors at the office. Therefore they will stay at work longer, and complete work faster as they are not distracted by temptations of outdoor activities.

What’s the fix?

If you find that your team is predominantly negatively affected by rainy days – give them something to cheer them up. Something as simple as treating everyone in the office to hot coffee/tea and pastries will put the team in the right mood.

Hot Days

Bright and sunny weather will most often put employees in a great mood, unless it’s too hot. When employees are arriving to work sweaty and uncomfortable, they can only be productive in the right working conditions.

There are people who love the heat and people who hate the heat. Therefore, hot weather will have different impacts on different employees. Those who love the heat will come into the office with a smile on their face, but they may also be completely preoccupied with ideas of what to do after work, that they don’t spend much time focusing on their work.

On the contrary, employees who prefer the shade will arrive at work in a foul mood, and generally want to stay in a cool air-conditioned environment for as long as possible.

What’s the fix?

The working conditions have to be optimal. Fully functioning air conditioning coupled with cold water available for all team members are key. While you’re at it, embrace the childhood spirit in all employees (those who love the heat and those who don’t) by bringing jumbo freezies into the office after lunch. The whole team can take a quick break to enjoy a freezie, cool down, and rejuvenate their energy before tackling the second half of the day.

Cold Days

For those of you who are located in climates just as extreme as we are here in Toronto, you will deal with both the hottest of days and the coldest of days. Though employees are prepared for the winter months with their coats and boots, it can still affect their productivity in the office.

The temperature is not the only factor affecting the mood of your employees on cold days – it’s also the lack of sunlight. The days are shorter and when your employees wake up to a dark sky to arrive at work, and leave to a dark sky to head home, their mood will be glum.

The productivity throughout the sunlight hours will generally be unaffected, but once the sun goes down after 5 p.m. most employees will be rushing to head home.

What’s the fix?

Offer more flexible schedules in the winter to accommodate employee preferences. If team members want to come in earlier so they can enjoy some sunshine on their way home, give them that option. Other employees may want to come in later to enjoy sunlight in the morning, and stay later in the evenings. Let your team know that they should be putting in the same hours, and they will be grateful that you’ve given them this flexible option to suit their needs.

 

We want to know how the weather affects your productivity at work. Does your productivity decrease on rainy/glum days? Answer our poll here!

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