High Temperatures Hurt Productivity

The brutal summer heat sweeping much of the country in recent weeks could wind up hitting the economy in more ways than just higher electric bills.

Summer is already a slower time for businesses, with many workers out on vacation. Heat indexes soaring well into triple digits are making those who still are at work feel extra sluggish.

"Inevitably, productivity has been diminished."

John Challenger is CEO of global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. He says that, while one might expect the soaring temperatures to hit those working outdoors, it’s office workers whose productivity wilts the most.

"People just come into work less alert, more ready to go home, just need more breaks."

To fight heat-related productivity loss, Challenger recommends companies consider relaxing their dress codes, allowing workers to start their normal workday earlier when temperatures are lower, and letting them work from home more often.

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...