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Why does our Productivity decline in the Summer Months?

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Helene Kinsler Highways and Traffic, Permanent, Contract...

Several studies of employees show a significant decrease in employee productivity during the summer months; and adversely an increase in productivity during periods of bad or cooler weather.

These same studies reveal that during colder temperatures, we as humans, are more capable of making rapid accurate decisions. When things get hot we apparently become slower and more conservative thinkers!

But why?
What’s going on?
And how; if we are more conservative thinkers, do we explain the urge of some of us to take off all our clothes and plunge into the nearest pool, river or lake?

It's summertime. The days are warmer and longer, the sun is getting higher, and all you want to do is laze in the heat of the day, take a holiday, enjoy a long weekend or chill outside your favourite pub with a cool drink of your choice.   

Yep: it can feel like the hot weather is making you a bit lazy!!

However: according to Dr N Molitor, a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, we are NOT being lazy. We are in fact feeling lethargic due to a Scientific reason and it is all down to our internal temperature regulators.

According to research; when the temperature rises our feelings of lethargy also rises due to our “Internal temperature regulator” which controls whether we sweat in hot weather or shiver in cold.

Operating our Internal temperature regulator requires energy and therefore; Hot weather makes us more tired, because we are spending more internal resources; simply keeping cool.

We are feeling lethargic because the energy resources used by our temperature regulator is being taken away from the brain and being used to keep the whole body cool. 

So now you know: why we are more productive in the cooler months!

So, do we just keep the offices cooler to maintain productivity throughout the year or do we plan and consider the hot summer months and perhaps change our work practices as a result? Discuss….

As for those of you who enjoy skinny dipping – there is as yet; as far as we know, no research to explain your actions.

Acknowledgments: Dr Molitor; Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioural Science