Could a decision made in 1916 be affecting the productivity of your workforce? That was the year it was decided to change the clocks in the UK twice a year, going forward by an hour in the spring and backward by an hour in the autumn. This British Summer Time (BST) is a part of everyday life and something we probably all take for granted today.
In “Overcoming the UK’s Productivity Challenge”, a report based on research commissioned by our parent company Extentia Group, workers were questioned about British Summer Time (BST) to understand if the seasonal clock change can have an effect on people’s productivity at work. It found more than half of those surveyed said it did and on average, respondents felt the effect of the change to and from BST for four days following the change, but more than 10% of women felt affected for more than two weeks!
This view has been echoed by the EU Commission that stated “the effect [of BST] on the human biorhythm may be more severe than previously thought” and earlier this year, backed a proposal to stop the obligatory one-hour clock change which extends daylight hours in summer EU-wide. However, this is just the first step of many in the process towards making this legislation and it is also unclear how Brexit will affect the UK’s position.
As building services design consultants that specialise in the delivery of MEP solutions, we work with our clients to understand their workplace culture and what employees want from their work place. Many businesses want to use design to improve productivity and yet don’t take employee’s working habits, or the impact of things like BST, into account.
For example, based on these findings, companies might consider allowing their workers to come in later or earlier for a period of time around the clock change and need to be sure that the work place design supports this. This might be as simple as ensuring that any HVAC equipment is operational during longer hours or that the fresh air supply is optimised. Another option might be to consider installing a sophisticated lighting system that helps replicate daylight and is a proven mood enhancer.
Whatever your requirements our team has the knowledge to help you to support productivity within the workplace by applying smart thinking and expertise.
To download “Morning Larks vs Night Owls: Overcoming the UK’s Productivity Challenge”, click HERE