It would be easy to write off ‘beach week’ as an excuse for the team to crack out novelty sunglasses and put our pasty Manchester legs into the sun, but aside from some much-needed vitamin D and meeting Manchester’s suncream quota, there’s a good reason to change things up. It might not always be obvious why the office has a Space Invaders game console or a chill out area with giant bean bags, but there is a method to our madness, promise…
Some offices would never dream of letting their staff go to work in shorts but, especially in this weather, it’s actually counterproductive, as a hot, cranky team aren’t going to be able to work; it’s not good for morale and it’s not good for our health. Us Brits just aren’t used to it; just like data centres, we need to be kept in optimum conditions!
It also ends up being counterproductive as when you’re uncomfortable, you won’t be working at full capacity, and the TUC agrees. It issued a press release this week where its general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “It’s no fun working in a baking office or factory and employers should do all they can to take the temperature down. Clearly vest tops and shorts are not suitable attire for all front line staff, but those not dealing with the public should be able to discard their tights, ties and suits.
“Extreme heat can be as unpleasant to work in as extreme cold, and so long as the UK has no legal maximum working temperature, many workers will be working in conditions that are not just personally unpleasant, but will also be affecting their productivity.”
Plus, changing it up can be a good way to shake out new ideas. For instance, the marcomms team (sorry for that) had our weekly meeting in the garden this week, and a change of scenery and getting some fresh air can be a great way to dislodge new ideas.
This is part of the reasoning behind the gym where – much to my initial despair – we also held a meeting one Tuesday morning, and the various chillout areas; if you give people the freedom to try out new things it can be helpful to productivity in the long run.
Sometimes it’s important to follow the rules, and sometimes it’s important to get some perspective and not be afraid to mix it up.
If you want to work somewhere that’s not afraid to bend the rules a little, take a look at our careers page and see if you could be a UKFast superstar!