NSC operates globally, where the temperature fluctuates quite a bit. Our field engineers know how what −20°C in a Chicago winter feels like, and they’ve experienced 40°C heat during a Riyadh summer.
However, the usually moderately-temperatured United Kingdom recently suffered a five day heat-wave, bringing mercury readings which our staff at NSC headquarters in London Bridge were quite unaccustomed to, unprepared for and, in some cases, incapacitated by.
And we’re seeing record temperatures all around the world. So, how might the hot weather affect your business?
Heat is an effective tool for breaking things. Think about how the sun severely dented Icarus’ flying plans, or try eating an ice cream in a sauna.
The same is true for tech hardware. If your computer gets too hot it will slow down, or (ironically?) freeze. Complex computing processes require movement within microchips, and movement generates heat. Thus, servers are kept in climate-controlled rooms, and computers fitted with fans.
If you have to use your computer/laptop in the heat, you should close any programs you’re not using (more programs = more running power = more heat), sit in the shade if outside, make sure your computer can breathe (don’t position it on a surface that blocks the fan and vents), and turn it off when you’re done.
Complex computer processes require movement within microchips, and movement generates heat
Overheated IT engineers
Just like the machines that they look after, the heat can affect your IT staff too. Warm weather impairs our ability to make complex decisions, so humanoid processing speeds will slow down. Perhaps the middle of a heatwave isn’t the best time to force your CTO into making a decision on which multi-million pound contract to sign.
If the decision on the hypothetical multi-million pound contract has to be made ASAP, help comes in the form of new wearable tech called Wristify. It’s a heating and cooling bracelet developed by Embr Labs, that works by sending hot or cold pulses to a patch of skin on your wrist (like when you warm your hands by the fireplace, or when you refresh with an ice cube on your skin, they say).
Other than malfunctioning brains, heat might cause IT staff to sweat, causing discomfort and nasally-discourteous body odour. Luckily, startup Octocool have invented the air conditioned shirt, cooling its wearer with two fans powered by a 4,400 watt battery.
Shirts, ties, high heels and jackets stop looking so smart when it’s 30°C. It’s important your staff are comfortable, and perspiring under multiple layers doesn’t help productivity.
Admittedly, IT professionals are not renowned for their commitment to the business suit during clement days; a heatwave might be the only time the shorts your head of IT wears all year look appropriate.
As anyone living in the UK will know, extreme weather (in the UK this means more than two days of snow or anything above 28°C) can severely disrupt travel, and this includes anything your business has in transit.
Recently flights were cancelled in and out of Phoenix, Arizona as the temperature hit 49°C. Of course this will damage your operation if hardware is delayed, but worse still is if the heat (or cold) damages your goods en route. Make sure you pack securely.
Of course, travelling the globe and challenging weather are common bedfellows, so using experienced logistics companies should save you all of these troubles.
A heatwave might be the only time the shorts your head of IT wears all year look appropriate
Your business might feel the effects of a workforce energised and delighted by hot weather. Smiles and laughter can disrupt hard work and meetings, and ice-lolly mismanagement often results in sticky keyboards.
In very extreme cases you may see an increase in unauthorised absences. Hot weather can cause people to sit around outside doing nothing at all, but it’s not their fault. The best defence against this is to make your office a warm place to be (emotionally), a cool place to be (physically) and buy your staff ice cream.
Extreme heat can cause malfunction in hardware, haulage and humans. NSC have worked in all weather conditions and climates to provide IT solutions, recruitment and logistics support to multinational companies. If you need an experienced hand, please contact us on +44 (0) 20 7808 6300 or [email protected], or visit us at www.nscglobal.com