When temperatures soar through the roof, office productivity can fall by nearly a quarter, according to research released today.
A survey of 1,500 employees, by recruitment firm Office Angels, questioned respondents about their summertime working habits.
More than three-quarters (78%) complained of working environments that stifled not only their creativity, but also their ability to get the job done.
One-third (35%) of UK offices still donÍt have air conditioning, instead relying solely on open windows or fans.
But at the same time, nearly a fifth of employees (18%) say heating dilemmas cause confrontation in the office, with colleagues unable to agree on how hot or cold the temperature should be, complaining of arctic conditions with units set to full blast.
More than eight in 10 (81%) of workers find it difficult to concentrate at work if the office temperature is higher than the norm, with 62% of these admitting that under hot conditions a typical task may take up to 25% longer than usual to complete.
Two-thirds (65%) of male office workers are expected to wear shirt, jacket and tie all year round – regardless of soaring thermometers – making sitting at a desk or travelling to meetings ïunbearableÍ.
From open shirts to flip flops and shorts, a further 17% of staff have been reprimanded for wearing an unsuitable outfit to work in order to keep cool in the summer sun.
Paul Jacobs, managing director of Office Angels, said: “Despite recently experiencing one of the hottest July days on record, it seems some employers are failing to get the basics right when it comes to keeping their workforce happy.
“Small gestures make a big difference – allowing staff to dress according to the heat, investing in fans where needed and even encouraging staff to leave on time to enjoy the summer sun, will mean employees are far more comfortable, relaxed and able to get on with the job in hand.”