At last, summer is finally here! And here we are, sitting at our desks, staring out at blue skies, day dreaming of lounging on a white-sanded beach.
It’s little surprise, really, that productivity plummets 20% during the summer months, Forbes writes. Which, at the risk of stating the obvious, is no good for business.
Forbes shares some top tips to help employers keep employees engaged, and company culture strong, during the summer months. They are:
1. Set summer goals and rewards
Bring the team together and set some group goals for the summer. Make sure you note down the goals while brainstorming, as research finds the act of recording goals leads to a 33% higher chance of achieving them.
During the meeting, discuss incentives for achieving the goals – ideas include anything from a financial bonus to a fun day out of the office or a paid-for day off. The best thing is to ask your team which rewards they’d value most, then promise they’ll get them if those goals are met.
2. Designate an outdoor working space
Employees will be itching to get outside during summer, and who can blame them? You can facilitate outdoor working by creating breakout zones fitted with tables and umbrellas, which can be used as meeting or remote working spaces.
If you don’t have the space outside, bring the outdoors in! Natural light and plants are two essentials – the Harvard Business Review found that employees’ top office perk was natural lighting, while psychologists uncovered that adding houseplants to the office boosted productivity by 38%.
Going one step further, you might want to organise a group succulent workshop, or take a team trip to a garden centre so each employee can pick a plant for their desk.
3. Set a summer ‘happy hour’
As there’s a direct link between job satisfaction and perception of friendships at work, use the summer months to inspire co-workers to build stronger bonds with one another.
Schedule in regular happy hours that bring employees together and break up those long (and hot) working days. It could be as simple as hiring out an outdoor space at a restaurant or bar, cutting the work day short so your entire team can attend. Employees are bound to appreciate a bigger summer bash too, whether it’s a day-long company picnic or BBQ.
4. Offer remote working – and cut hours
Almost seven in ten (68%) millennials job-seekers say they’re more likely to accept a job if it offered remote working, while more than 60% of families have both parents in full-time jobs, making the summer holidays a struggle when it comes to childcare.
The summer is a fantastic time to trial flexible working, either allowing employees to work from home one or more days a week, or to change their hours to fit their home life. Either way, it allows your team to strike a better work-life balance, and shows you’re an employer who cares.
You might also cut hours during the summer, even if it’s a half-day every other Friday. Employees actually say they feel more productive when hours are reduced to half a day, and they’re bound to appreciate the gesture.
If you want to find out how you can create a workspace that will keep your team engaged through summer and beyond, get in touch with the experts at Kerr today.