• Workers left 19.5 minutes early each day over the summer, on average.
  • 1/3 businesses believe employees should be allowed to leave work early in summers.
  • Interactive map reveals how much workers cost local economies (embed code included for hosting).

What’s the one thing you looked forward to most when you got to work in the morning on a scorching summer’s day (which, thanks to a series of heatwaves this summer, was most of them!)? Yes, leaving, of course!

Indoor and outdoor heating specialists, Heat Traders wanted to find out how the hot weather affected British workers this past summer – just how early they left their offices or place of work and how much this is actually cost the economy. They ran a survey among 2,200 employees, and made some very interesting – and possibly worrying(!) discoveries…

Heat Traders found that, on average, Brits left their working day, or their shift, 19.5 minutes early each day over summer (which adds up to just over an hour and a half per week) to get to the pub, or the park, or wherever else they enjoyed doing in the sunshine… but this potentially had a big impact on our economy. In fact, Heat Traders calculated that, on average, each worker cost the UK economy £334.90, which equates to a mind-boggling sum of £10,847,537,657.44!

When broken down across the UK, the area quickest to power down their computers and leg it for the lifts was the West Midlands; workers here clocked off an impressive 23.5 minutes early, costing their bosses a not-insignificant £404.88 each. Workers in Wales weren’t far behind, leaving 22.9 minutes early, and costing £393 per employee. The most dedicated to their jobs, however, were those straight down the line folk from Yorkshire and the Humber, who clearly wanted to stay until (most of) the work got done – they only left 14.1 minutes earlier than they were supposed to; though they still cost their employers £242.67 each…

To find out how your region compares, check out Heat Trader’s interactive infographic map: https://www.heattraders.com/work-s-out-for-summer/ (embed code included for hosting).

But working during successive heatwaves was certainly no picnic. Not only did public transport get unbearably hot, but many offices did, too. Thanks to soaring temperatures in the workplace, some businesses had to send their employees home. The survey revealed that working in searing conditions lead to some frayed tempers, and one fifth of Brits (18.8%) reported having had arguments with colleagues over the temperature in the office this summer.

Perhaps because of the heat, 38.4% of business owners believe it would be more productive to just let their employees leave early on a Friday next summer. That said, employees wouldn’t really thank them for it; only 11.3% of Brits said they would make up the extra hours or get in a bit earlier on a Monday to compensate for the time they got off early on a Friday afternoon! Heat Traders also asked Brits which day of the week feels the longest; it’s no surprise that Monday came out on top (45.1%), with the longest stretch to the weekend… but Friday feels second longest (19.6%), possibly because those last few hours till home time feel like they take three times as long! Thursday felt shortest, with only 3.9%.