The sun came out across the UK yesterday, leaving many of the nation’s workers confused as to how and why they should be at work indoors.
Temperatures hit 25C, which is 10C higher than the average expected at this of year, and frankly, Brits don’t do well with change. Today is expected to be similarly sizzling as the mercury reaches 24C but officials and plain good sense recommends that you don’t leave the house without a jacket. Just in case.
The UK is famed for its approach to hot weather on weekends, thanks to a strict protocol that stems confusion and stops fear spreading. The first step is to take to social media to create memes and share photographs of blue sky, green grass and glasses of rose. This serves to both celebrate the warm climate, and warn others.
Then residents evacuate to the nearest garden, park or beach where they will drink cider until it becomes sticky and sickly and get burnt. This signals it is time to head home and eat charred, barbecued meat.
However, officials have yet to implement a plan for weekday sunshine and this causes problems for offices and workers nationwide.
Bosses and managers are most at risk. Should the morning briefing take place outside? In the one sunny spot beside the dumpsters?
Should employees benefit from an extra-long lunch, and an early home-time? Many managers report that the alternative is having staff stare longingly out of the window, cutting productivity rates by 14 per cent, as well as 3pm ice-cream runs that cost companies in excess of £2.70 per ice cream every year.
For employees, confusion swirls around dress code. Whilst set winter work-wear has been long established (wool, dark colours, t-shirts under shirts, more wool) summertime attire still stymies.
Sandals may or may not be office-appropriate. T-shirts may be worn, but only in certain iterations (that’s a no to your ‘Reading 2003’ shirt with the beer stain down the back).
Sadly, the summer wardrobe of the average British woman, for example, tends to consist of denim hot pants (x3 pairs), baggy tank tops (x5 pairs), sheer sun dress (x2, both purchased for Majorca holiday five years ago) and H&M aviators (x1 pair). With little or no time to nip to Zara for an office-ready linen midi, many workers find themselves in a state of sunshine-induced sartorial peril (SSSP).
So how can office workers around the country continue to work when the sun comes out? With temperatures set to stay high as the relatively-unknown season of summer approaches, it is important to take time to properly prepare.
5 Top Tips For Staying at Work in The Sun
Walk to work. It seems anathema at any other time of the year and yes, it will mean wearing trainers with your skit suit. But you will also arrive at the office satisfied that you have enjoyed some sunshine, even if it was mostly tepid and behind big buildings.
Wear your usual work outfit, minus one standard item. For men, this means removing the jacket. For women, it is the tights.
Drink your 10 am coffee outside. Even if it means 20 co-workers are crammed into the dumpster-adjacent sun trap. Also, drink your 2pm coffee outside. On sunny days, it is acceptable to break out your emergency 4pm coffee and drink it outside.
Book an early lunch break. Take advantage of co-workers’ heavy workloads to nab the best picnic table.
Leave at 6pm on the dot. Finish emails mid-sentence if necessary.Back to Blog