With April come the showers (as well as the employment law changes). Before we get our woefully short summer, we have April to try to get as much rain out of the system as possible. Being British we accept this as an inevitability, sticking out into the North Atlantic as we do. Though perfect for ducks, it’s not that great for people, especially those not up for ‘dancing in the rain’ on their daily commutes. Those that walk, cycle, and even run to work often arrive at this time of year with ‘drying off’ being the first item on their agenda.
Cyclists have it tough. With bike umbrella technology seemingly in its infancy, two wheeled commuters often have little bar Lycra to protect them from the elements. Upon arrival and changing outfits, they’ll then need to find somewhere to dry off those wet clothes (we’ll get to that later). Others arriving on foot don’t have it easy either. One misplaced step or a stride too close to the curb can put a downer on a morning, especially as unlike the cyclist they may not have brought along a second set of clothes.
Dampened clothes dampen spirits. Bad weather can really pull the mood down in the workplace. And those without the facilities to change into new clothes, or dry off, run the risk of catching a cold. What can employers do therefore in preparation for a rainy day? If you have the room, it’s worth giving staff the option of storing a second set of clothes at work.
What about drying off? SMEs often don’t have a staff room or equivalent – understandably due to their size. And depending on your company culture, it may not be deemed professional to hold meetings surrounded by radiators laden with steaming cycling shorts and socks. It might not go down to well with the rest of the staff, depending on how smelly they are!
Instead, consider providing a small drying area for staff to use somewhere out of the way if possible.
If you get some rules or guidelines in place, a spot of rain shouldn’t put staff off from adopting greener modes of transport for the commute. In fact, if you consider the benefits to staff, the environment and your business, employers should positively encourage staff to leave the gas guzzlers at home. Thought about getting a cycle to work scheme in place?
The above will give you some ideas to keep staff bright and cheery through April’s showers. However, with summer and warmer weather (fingers crossed) looming, is worse ahead? Research suggests a manager’s most dreaded conversation is in regard to personal hygiene! Worry no more as we’ve blogged some top tips in the past! If you’re not confident, always seek advice before holding any tricky conversations.
As ever, The HR Dept is here to advise on all of your people problems, so get in touch. Happy Spring!