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WEATHER

Temperatures to hit 30C in rollercoaster week of weather

After basking in the promisingly warm weekend just gone, Germany looks to be returning to a more typical spring mixture of sun and stormy showers.

Temperatures to hit 30C in rollercoaster week of weather
Photo: Flikr/Chris Isherwood

The German Weather Service (DWD) reports that while Wednesday will provide sun for the whole country, Germany will then experience a wide range of different weather conditions, from high temperatures to potential storms.

In the north, Wednesday will start off with thick clouds and spots of rain rolling across the region, before giving way to the sun.

For the rest of the country there will be very little clouds, if any, with highs of 24-28C. While winds along coastal areas will be keeping the heat at bay, some areas in the west will even see temperatures reaching 30C.

However on Wednesday night, the showers and clouds will start to move across the country, with the DWD saying that they also cannot rule out thunder in some areas.

Mainly sun with some cloud is predicted across Germany on Wednesday. Source: DWD

On Thursday, western Germany can expect rain, thunder, and strong winds, with the DWD indicating risks of storms.

It’s a completely different story in the east and south of Germany, where the sun should still be shining for the whole day. Temperatures will be around 25-28C, lowering to between 21-25C as you go further west.

The night going into Friday is where we will start seeing more turbulent weather moving in, as showers and then potentially storms descend on the western half of the country.

On Friday, the east and northeast of Germany again will start off with lots of sunshine, while the rest of the country will be shrouded with cloud cover, even showers in some places. In the middle of the country, and then later moving eastwards, strong storms are expected.

DWD predicts that temperatures will be around 16-22C in the west, but will reach highs of around 27C in the east of the country along the border with Poland.

During Friday night, those areas that had enjoyed lots of sun the previous two days can expect rain and thunder, while parts of the west, which were rained on during the day, will have a chance to dry off during the night with only some cloud cover predicted.

Towards the end of the week a real range of weather is on offer across the country. Source: DWD

Over the weekend the west and northwest of Germany can expect lots of cloud and sporadic showers, while the rest of the country will stay largely pleasant and dry. Temperatures over the weekend will be around 17-22C.

Then at the beginning of next week, the country can expect warmer weather with temperatures ranging between 19-25C, however the west and northwest will again experience increasingly thick cloud cover.

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READER QUESTIONS

Reader question: Is it ever too hot to work from home in Germany?

Germany has regulations on working during a heatwave - but does that also apply to people who work remotely? We take a look.

Reader question: Is it ever too hot to work from home in Germany?

The number of people working from home shot up during the Covid pandemic, and though employees no longer have the right to work remotely by law, many have chosen to stick with more flexible arrangements and set up a home office at least part of the week.

This is great news for people who enjoy a lie-in more than a long commute, but there are some downsides. One major issue is that it’s not always clear how Germany’s strict employee protection rules actually apply in a home setting. The rules for working during a heatwave are a good example of this.

How does Germany regulate working in extreme heat? 

By law in Germany, employers are responsible for creating a safe environment for their workers. This means that they should try and keep the temperature below 26C at all times and are legally obliged to take action if the temperature goes above 30C. 

That could include putting blinds on the windows to prevent the glare of the sun, installing air conditioning systems or purchasing fans. In some cases – such as outdoor manual labour – it could also involve starting and finishing earlier in the day. 

And in really high temperatures, employers may simply decide to call the whole thing off and give their employees a ‘hitzefrei’ day – basically a heat-induced day off – to go and cool down in a lake. However, business owners are generally given free rein to decide how hot is too hot in this instance (except in the case of vulnerable workers). 

READ ALSO: Hitzefrei: Is it ever legally too hot to go to work or school in Germany?

Do the heat rules apply to ‘home office?’

Unfortunately not. In most cases in Germany, the company isn’t directly involved in setting up the workspace for an employee that works from home, aside from possibly providing a laptop or phone for remote use. 

“The occupational health and safety regulations regarding room temperature do not apply in this case,” labour law expert Meike Brecklinghaus told German business publication T3N. “This is because the employer does not have direct access to the employee’s workplace and in this respect cannot take remedial action.”

That means that on hot days, it’s the employee’s own responsibility to make sure the environment is suitable for working in. 

woman works from home in Germany

A woman works in her living room at home. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Daniel Naupold

One duty employers do have, however, is to instruct their workers about the best way to set up a healthy work environment at home, for example by giving guidance on how to regulate the temperature. 

“In the end, it is the employee’s responsibility to maintain his or her workplace in a condition in which he or she can perform his or her work without the threat of health impairments,” Brecklinghaus explained.

What can home office workers do in hot weather?

There are plenty of ways to keep flats cooler in the summer months, including purchasing your own fan, keeping curtains or blinds drawn and ventilating the rooms in the evening or early morning when the weather is cooler.

However, if heat is really becoming a problem, it’s a good idea to communicate this to your employer. This is especially important if you have a health condition that makes it more dangerous to work in hot weather. 

In some cases, you might be able to negotiate for the employer to pay for the purchase of a fan or mobile air conditioner as goodwill gesture. If possible, you could also arrange to travel to the office where the temperature should be better regulated.

Another option for early birds or night owls is to arrange more flexible working hours so you can avoid sweltering at your desk in the midday sun, although this of course depends on operational factors. 

READ ASO: Jobs in Germany: Should foreign workers join a union?

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