Bosses must provide air con for home workers as productivity drops when it’s hot

Workers reckon their productivity levels drop by a third in hot temperatures – so six in ten want bosses to provide air conditioning when working from home.

A study of 2,000 adults found 44 percent struggle to keep on top of their work when the mercury soars, with four in ten moving rooms to try and find a cooler spot.

One in four workers have even worked with the fridge or freezer door open in a bid to keep cool.

And four in ten have simply refused to work when the heat has been too extreme – with respondents claiming a temperature of 28 degrees or above is too high for work.

As a result, 59 percent think their employer should have to provide them with air conditioning as working from home becomes the new normal.

The research was commissioned by Andrews Air Conditioning after it saw enquiries for domestic installations from businesses rise to a staggering 150 percent.

A spokesman said: “This is certainly a hot topic that has workers divided.

“When the temperatures hit their peak, sometimes it does feel like there’s no escape of the heat in the haze of summer – so it’s understandable some would look to their employers for a solution.

“But at the same time, you can also see the point of view that it’s not an employer’s issue if they’re offering a place to work that provides an adequate temperature.”

The study also found more than half have ventured back into the office for a more temperate atmosphere when temperatures have risen.

But with Covid cases still high, nearly a third don’t feel comfortable working in the office – with one in six particularly worried when it’s busy.

More than half (53 percent) of those who think bosses should provide air-conditioning put this down to the changes in the workplace due to the pandemic, with many unlikely to return to the office full-term.

A third of respondents have even put in a request with an employer – with a further one in five planning on doing so.

Nearly half were willing to contribute to the cost of having an air con unit to use at home – though 29 percent didn’t believe that was necessary.

However, 32 percent would rather ditch the air conditioning unit entirely and be given time off to enjoy the sun instead.

But of the four in ten who don’t believe employers should have to provide air-con for those working from home, 69 percent feel it’s not the responsibility of the firms to ensure their home isn’t too warm.

And 54 percent simply don’t think the hot weather lasts long enough to justify such luxuries, according to the research carried out via OnePoll.

A spokesman from Andrews Air Conditioning added: “We don’t often have long spells of really hot weather in the UK, so when we do, we can sometimes find it hard to cope with the heat.”

The full results of the survey can be viewed here.

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