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Sunscreen for the Office

Oakstone International executive search: sunscreen for the office

Summer is upon us but let’s face it – no one wants to be sat at a desk all day when it’s hot and sunny outside – especially in the UK where it rains on average 106.5 days a year.

An article from the New Yorker recently published:

‘A 2008 study ( using data from the American Time Use Survey found that, on rainy days, men spent, on average, thirty more minutes at work than they did on comparatively sunny days. In 2012 ( , a group of researchers from Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill conducted a field study of Japanese bank workers and found a similar pattern: bad weather made workers more productive, as measured by the time it took them to complete assigned tasks in a loan-application process.’

Luckily for us in the UK it means that our productiveness is probably higher on average per year than those who work in the sunnier corners of the earth (although this is arguable for other reasons) – however we all want motivated teams at all times so how do you keep your team motivated when it is hot and sunny outside?

Seasonal perks can often help keep motivation high. Try some of these:

1. Seasonal dress code: unless your customer facing or attending important meetings all day there is no need to wear overly formal, stiff or heavy clothes in the office. Be more lenient in the summer when it comes to clothing – this way people are comfortable and don’t have to run home and get changed when they finish work to do outside activities.

2. After work team outings: drinks and team meals are a great way to boost team morale and when its sunny outside it makes it easier to get everyone together. Brief lunches every now and again outside will refresh people and get them outside for a while or, try finishing half an hour early and have a bbq. If you are lucky enough to work on the coast – get down to the beach for an hour after work!

3. Flexible working: it’s a shame to miss all the sunshine if you have long working hours. Making working hours flexible allows people more time to enjoy summer during the week – they can then make these hours up when its grey outside. Having a great balance will increase their motivation in the long run.

4. Ice creams: treat your employees to little perks like ice creams when its hot. It’s the little things that count and people will thank you for it.

5. Work outdoors: Outdoor space is highly underrated when it comes to the workplace. Allowing your employees to work outdoors for even a few hours can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and improve immune function ( – just be careful of those with hay fever during the summer months and in the immortal words of the great Baz Luhrmann, “WEAR SUNSCREEN”