Are you not productive at work? It's not you, it's climate change

Find out here how to combat this phenomenon

Are you not productive at work? It's not you, it's climate change

The heat waves produced by climate change affect life on the planet in different ways. One of them work productivity loss (WPL) that ends up affecting the GDP of each country, which would mean that the degree of development of a nation is inversely proportional to the loss of labor productivity.

Leer en español: ¿No te rinde en el trabajo? No eres tú, es el cambio climático

A study by YU Shuang, XIA Jiangjiang, and YAN Zhongwei of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, shows that "the relationship of lost productivity at work with the heat of the year was 6.6 days for countries in development and 3.5 days for developed countries".

In this regard, YU Shuang said that "our results call attention to the need for adaptation to increase heat waves by improving the protection infrastructure, especially for developing regions".

What can be done?

According to the Colombian architect Julián Barrera, in an interview with LatinAmerican Post, there are two solutions to make the infrastructure resistant to heat waves so that the health and productivity of workers prevail.

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On the one hand, there are passive solutions that besides being more economical are also eco - friendly. These solutions are about building infrastructure that takes advantage of natural light and regulates the temperature through natural ventilation. This is called well-implanted buildings that use bioclimatic strategies. However, according to Barrera, although these solutions can relieve heat, they are not as effective as air conditioning would be.

This type of strategy is known as an active solution, because it will solve the problem immediately and in a shorter time. However, the use of this type of mechanisms is harmful to the environment due to the energy consumption and the chemical pollutants -which damage the ozone layer- that they use.

In the long term, the advantages of passive solutions are much better because they are more friendly to the environment, do not contribute to generate negative impacts, and will be cheaper than implementing active solutions.

What can workers do?

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Some of the recommendations to stay active at work during a heat wave are:

  • Hydrate constantly
  • Try not to consume heavy food and opt for fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid unnecessary physical effort
  • Do not expose yourself directly to the sun
  • Wear light-colored clothing that allows your skin to breathe
  • Close the blinds to prevent the sun from entering directly into the space you are


LatinAmerican Post | Marcela Peñaloza
Translated from “El cambio climático también afecta tu productividad laboral”

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