A heatwave can and will affect employee productivity, but employers can help


Without a doubt, the forthcoming heatwave that will affect the UK this week (possibly bringing about the highest ever July temperature on record) will have a detrimental effect on workers’ productivity – the combination of hot, muggy nights and hot days not helping at all.

Although the current workplace legislation provides strict limits for minimum temperatures, there is no maximum temperature in the office. While trade unions are calling for the maximum workplace temperature to be set at 30°C for non-manual work and 27°C for manual work, there is currently no legal maximum working temperature in an office.

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 say employers must maintain a reasonable temperature, but do not specify a maximum temperature. The accompanying code of practice sets out a minimum temperature of 16°C, or 13°C if the work involves considerable physical activity.

The Health and Safety Executive has defined an acceptable zone of thermal comfort for most people in the UK as lying “roughly between 13°C (56°F) and 30°C (86°F), with acceptable temperatures for more strenuous work activities concentrated towards the bottom end of the range, and for more sedentary activities towards the higher end”.

Although they’re not forced by legislation, employers should nevertheless take reasonable measures to tackle the problems caused by high temperatures, depending on the nature of the workplace and the activities undertaken.

One such measure would be to make allowances for employees having problems getting to work due to public transport disruptions, such as allowing more flexible hours or working from home, or allowing employees to make any missed time up later. However, such measures do require a very solid and reliable workforce management system to be in place, and this is exactly where Tensor can help.


The Tensor Time and Attendance system will help you take control of shifts, manning levels and working patterns at your organization with the help of our Smart Card based payroll and Time & Attendance systems.

For example, manning levels in our WinTA.NET application are based upon employee skills required during the working week. WinTA.NET is a proactive system that keeps managers abreast of events. It does this by automatically emailing or SMS text messaging both employees and system users on various issues.

A separate module is available for rostering and manpower scheduling. You are pre-warned when applying a shift pattern that will result in a Working Time Regulations infringement.

Furthermore, the Tensor Time and Attendance systems can be integrated with Personnel Software which offers features that will save time and aid strategic planning, especially in emergency situations (strikes, natural disasters, etc.).

A mobile or wireless technology based time and attendance system for employers from Tensor ensures an organization is kept up to date with who is missing at the workplace.

If you’d like to find out more about Tensor’s advanced workforce management software, just contact us or Book a Demo, we’d be more than happy to answer all of your questions and queries.

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