We’ve all wanted to leave work early at some point because the sun is shining outside. But does the weather have a direct impact on our performance or engagement?
It may seem like a radical concept, but the weather actually has a profound effect on our cognitive state. Our ability to focus, solve problems and remain engaged throughout the day can all be swayed by meteorological affairs. Let’s explore the different ways in which the weather can impact employee engagement rates.
The Impact of Good Weather
It’s no secret that little doses of sunlight can do wonders for our mental and emotional health, and can help us stay positive. In fact, studies have shown that the better the weather is in the morning, the more motivated and happy employees feel throughout the day at work. And while these things are all fantastic for productivity and employee engagement, there can always be too much of a good thing!
A study conducted by Andrews Sykes found that 30% of office workers exceed their lunch hours by almost 13 minutes during the warmer months. That adds up to a 4.3 hours per month, if you’re wondering! On top of this, a third of these workers also admitted that being inside on a sunny day makes them feel trapped.
Great employee engagement happens when employees are happy and they are channelling that happiness towards the goals of the business. So whilst great weather can improve employee mood, they might like to be having a great time elsewhere! So how can you combat the negative effects of great weather on employee engagement?
We may be stating the obvious here, but you should never underestimate the power of air conditioning on a hot summer’s day. Studies have shown that hot rooms without air con can prevent the brain from working properly. This, of course, has many negative implications for employee morale and satisfaction. You should always keep effective temperature controls in place to ensure optimal concentration, productivity and employee engagement.
Relax the Dress Code
Nothing is quite as uncomfortable as feeling overdressed in a hot room. Frankly, it’s no surprise a third of workplaces with formal dress codes reported arguments among colleagues about room temperature. Of course, no one likes workplace conflict, and situations like this are terrible for staff morale.
But can casualwear really make a significant difference? Well, yes. One study found that 16% of staff who were able to opt for casualwear were willing to work overtime in warmer weather (as opposed to the 3% who were stuck in formal attire). Smart-casual just got a whole new meaning!
The Impact of Bad Weather
Just like great morning weather sets employees up for a positive day at work, gloomy morning weather has the opposite effect. IAAP reported that employees felt fatigued and unsatisfied when faced with gloomy scenes outside their windows at the start of the day.
It’s important to remember also that when the sun disappears, we can struggle to get enough Vitamin D - that which activates our ‘feel-good’ chemical, serotonin.
So what’s the answer? How can you win in this constant battle with the weather as an employer?
Natural Light is Key
It’s worthwhile letting in as much natural daylight into your office as possible. Allowing employees to sit near a window will allow them to catch some rays (if the sun decides to make an appearance). Window seats are the prime real estate of the office environment, and multiple studies have shown that sitting near a window can reduce drowsiness by 10%.
So there you have it! Those are the different ways in which the weather can have an impact on your team’s engagement rates and productivity. Of course the weather isn't the be all and end all of employee satisfaction, and there are many other factors at play.
If you’re serious about improving your working environment, check out our website. We’re helping businesses keep their teams engaged with cutting edge technology that can boost employee morale, productivity, and satisfaction.