Recent High Temps Stifle Productivity

Recent high temperatures gripping parts of the country, with some heat indexes soaring past 110 degrees, have the nation’s workers feeling extra sluggish. Those working outdoors especially need to take heed of heat advisories. However, extreme temperatures impact indoor workers as well.  According to research conducted by Sol Hsiang, a PhD student in Columbia’s Sustainable Development PhD program, and published last year, industries previously thought to be unaffected by climate change experience decreased output as temperatures rise. “The summer is already a slower time for many businesses, with many workers out of the office on vacation.  When we get these extreme temperatures productivity drops even further,” noted John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.  “This summer has been particularly hot and it’s impacted large segments of the country.  Companies in cities battling extraordinary heat levels may want to consider helping their employees stay cool by relaxing their dress codes, sponsoring ice cream socials or allowing workers to start their normal workday earlier, when temperatures are lower.”  What other strategies can employers use to fight heat-related productivity loss?  In addition to weather, what other seasonal occurrences can impact productivity? 

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