Consider for just a moment that it was snowing as late in the season as April. That’s two months ago. That’s a pretty short amount of time. It was a very long Winter for all of us. It did seem for a moment that it would never come to an end.
Then, all of a sudden, things turned around pretty quickly. In fact, when I think back, I don’t think we’ve had a bad start to the Summer by UK standards. I can’t even remember the last dose of prolonged cloud or rain for weeks on end now. It’s got to the point that many of the grass verges in our areas are now dry as a bone and have turned straw colour. The grass is dead. That’s how little rain we have had. I’m just waiting now for the bonkers news that we’re facing a drought!
For those of us who love the sunshine and warmth, it’s getting even better this week as the heat increases further and we get even more sunshine. The bad news for the grass is it’s not going to get any water any time soon.
But that’s enough of the weather forecast. Whilst it’s hot and sunny, as it has been for quite a while, please spare a minute to think about the needs of your fitters. It’s hard when it’s minus two and snowing sideways, but this job isn’t easy either when it’s 32 degrees, not a cloud in the sky and you have to carry large windows and doors in and out of houses.
Hydration and sunscreen
As far as I am aware, according to the information I have read, it is up to the employer to provide things such as sunscreen and encourage their workers to drink water regularly to prevent dehydration. Now employers can provide these things, but they cannot physically put it on them like children of course. That could cause an awkward situation in the office. But, during these hotter days and weeks, installation companies should be providing their staff who work outdoors with such provisions.
You can lead a horse to water, as the saying goes. It’s up to the fitters to actually look after themselves too. A bit of common sense needs to be applied. If it’s 30 degrees, drink plenty of water. Your body loses so much through sweat that if you don’t rehydrate sunstroke can set in very quickly. The same goes with the sunscreen. There’s nothing impressive about red arms and necks and a pale white torso. Get the factor 30 on (50 for me with my dodgy skin) and make sure you don’t burn. Carrying frames I am sure would become quickly less comfortable with sunburnt arms and necks.
For those of us who work inside in this industry, it can be taken for granted how easy office-based work can be. For me, I get to see home owners every day either in their home or in the showroom and close deals. It’s not a physically demanding job. It is mentally, but not physically. I don’t really get affected if it’s cold, wet or as it is now red hot outside. For a fitter, all their work is outdoors. So when the weather goes to one extreme or another, it’s these guys that have to work through it regardless to get the contract complete. We just hope that the home owners are of the generous sort and keep them well fed and watered throughout the installation.
A boost to sales?
Weather often affects our spending habits. Pubs, bars and restaurants are one obvious industry that benefits when the weather is good. It’s even better when there is a World Cup on.
When it comes to home improvement I think there can be a boost there too. Better weather gets people out in their gardens, looking at their properties and looking at what needs doing the most. I have to say that the past few weeks for ourselves have been very brisk indeed. People actively telling us that they want to get moving with home improvement projects whilst the weather looks set to stay good.
We are though crucially just a few weeks away from the start of the school six weeks holiday period, and that is a ritual blip in the year where business activity takes a dip as families decide to go on holiday and the idea of new windows and doors slips down the list of things to do. So, it would be wise to make the most of these next few weeks before the dip comes. We actually have to make hay when the sun shines. Not often we can say that here.
Remember, pack the sun screen and the bottles of water!
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