Weather is a favourite conversation subject for most Brits and there has been plenty to chat about given the ongoing heatwave.
Temperatures have hit record highs across the UK in recent weeks and while this can be good for your suntan, there is also evidence to suggest the nice weather may not be so good for the economy.
A study by the London School of Economics – that looked at the energy needed for certain industries and the effect of measures to combat heat such as reduced working hours, air conditioning or sun blockers – found the costs to the capital’s economy in warm years could amount to between €1.9bn and €2.3bn.
The report said: “Increasingly hot summers can have devastating effects on worker productivity. As temperatures increase, workers feel decreased energy, loss of concentration, muscle cramps, heat rash, and in extreme cases heat exhaustion or heatstroke.
“Cities are especially prone to such productivity loses. First, cities tend to be warmer than surrounding areas. This is due to factors like the extensive use of concrete and asphalt, use of equipment such as air conditioning, and lack of shade-bearing vegetation. Second, cities concentrate people, infrastructure, and productive activity. So disruptions to the regular working of the economy have large effects.
“Productivity losses already occur to different degrees across the world, but this is likely to be exacerbated by climate change. In the absence of measures for climate adaptation, productivity losses will have major impacts upon urban economies.
“If city policy makers are to implement measures to adapt to heat waves and other climate-related hazards, a better understanding of the scale of damages and the usefulness of different adaptation strategies is required.”
There is some good news though, the research also suggests introducing a siesta could help boost productivity in London when it is hotter.
It said: “Our analysis suggests a change in working hours is a potentially important adaptation measure for the case of London. In particular, working schedules that avoid early afternoon work, such as working from 07:00-11:00 and 17:00-20:00 instead of 09:00-13:00 and 14:00-17:00 – the equivalent to the Spanish “siesta” – could save the London economy over €700m by the end of the century.”