Climate change is causing havoc in every aspect of our lives, including the economy. Extreme weather conditions make certain work activities challenging, leading to productivity loss.
One report found that the economic cost of climate change in the United States could reach $14.5 trillion by 2070. America has already suffered considerable financial losses due to rising temperatures, which have caused many natural disasters such as wildfires and hurricanes. Solutions must be provided before things worsen.
How Climate Change Affects Productivity
Productivity is impacted by high temperatures and increasing air pollution, which can also reduce the number of hours people can work. It will suffer even more if these occurrences become more frequent due to climate change.
Extremely high temperatures are detrimental to human health, and increased exposure will result in an unhealthy workforce and increased absences. Sometimes, people may show up sick from allergic reactions to climate change and not be able to fully focus on their jobs.
These adverse effects on employee performance may also impact companies’ financial success. Businesses may experience a labor shortage in poorly conditioned areas where individuals are unwilling to work for the going pay rate. On the contrary, workers in climate-controlled environments will be much more comfortable and productive.
According to experts, extreme weather conditions may lead to interpersonal and intergroup conflicts, political instability and civil war that may take up valuable time, resulting in productivity loss. This illustrates how much of an impact climate change has on the economy.
In addition, hot weather, heavy rain or blizzards may prevent workers from fixing structural damage such as a leaking roof, faulty drainage system or malfunctioning electricity grid. Many workplaces rely on electricity for operations, so it becomes challenging to reach targeted productivity levels. One way or the other, everyone is affected by climate change.
6 Ways Workplaces Can Improve Productivity
Below are some techniques a business can employ to increase or maintain productivity at work, despite the harmful effects of climate change.
1. Install Smart HVACs
Innovative heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems can help eliminate workplace conflicts that may occur due to severe heat. Smart HVACs are energy-efficient and serve two purposes in combating climate change.
2. Have a Preventive Maintenance Plan
Workplaces must have preventive maintenance plans for all machinery to ensure worker safety and comfort. This will avert accidents and also ensure minimal productivity loss. Downtime will be minimal if potential problems are found and addressed before failure.
3. Raise Awareness About Climate Change
Workplaces can improve employees’ productivity by letting them know the impacts of climate change and how it affects them as individuals. That way, people can ensure they are prepared for extreme weather conditions that may impact their productivity.
4. Provide Affordable Health Care
Companies can improve productivity by providing affordable health care. In case of accidents caused by harsh weather, people would visit the hospital without financial implications and be able to return to their jobs quicker.
5. Reduce Travel Frequency
Another way businesses can improve productivity is by limiting their amount of travel. Air travel is especially damaging to the environment, as are the pollution and carbon emissions put out by cars. It is now simpler than ever to connect with co-workers worldwide and conduct business virtually, thanks to advancements in videoconferencing technology over the past few years.
6. Encourage Sustainability
Companies should urge employees to engage in sustainable activities such as installing solar panels, buying reusable products and recycling waste. Sustainability has been proven effective in combating climate change.
Take Action Against Climate Change
The projected decrease in productivity due to climate change should prompt people to engage in sustainable activities and encourage others to do so.