Summer is the season of fun and relaxation. People want to get outside and enjoy the sun during the warmest months of the year. And with the kids off from school, it’s the perfect time of year for parents to use their PTO days and go on a yearly family vacation.
The allure to go to the beach or lounge by a pool means workplace performance often takes a hit during the summer. A report from Captivate Network found that productivity decreases 20 percent, attendance dips 19 percent, and project completion times increase by 13 percent from June to August. It’s a struggle for many people to stay productive at work when they would rather be anywhere but indoors.
However, business must go on as usual even when the sun is shining and the temperature is high. In this article, we’ll share a few tips for keeping employees motivated during the hot summer months.
Be lax about vacations
Employees are going to go on vacation. Each person saves up their PTO days with the intention of getting away for a week or so when the time is right.
It may hinder productivity if a large portion of the staff leaves during the same time of year but your company can take steps to make it work for all parties. Require employees request their time off a few months before they leave so the company can plan accordingly. Managers should have plenty of time to find people to fill in when someone is gone and plan projects around vacations.
Your employees will develop a greater appreciation for their jobs if they feel encouraged to take the occasional vacation. They’ll work hard as they prepare to leave and feel comfortable disconnecting from the workplace while they’re gone.
And best of all, employees who go on vacation return to work recharged and motivated. A study from Project Time Off found that employees who take 11 or more vacation days a year are likely to receive a raise or bonus. That means people who take time off are often more valuable to their employers than people who don’t.
Let your employees get outside
One of the hardest parts of working during the summertime is looking out the window and thinking of everything else you could be doing. Humans aren’t meant to be indoors all day, especially on bright, sunny days.
Encourage your employees to get outside during the workday. Think about expanding lunch breaks or allowing managers to host meetings outside so employees have the chance to get some fresh air. You can even consider adopting half-day Fridays in the summer, although it’s not feasible for many organizations.
Avoiding strict workplace hours is one of the best ways for your staff to get the most out of summer. Instead of requiring everyone to work 9-to-5, allow people to choose to come in and leave early so they have plenty of time to enjoy the day.
Make the workplace comfortable
Being inside during the summer isn’t fun but it’s even worse when the workplace lacks natural light and the temperature is off. Employees are happiest when they get to work in a comfortable and pleasant environment that encourages productivity.
The right lighting is especially impactful on people’s work output. Fluorescent lighting is common in many offices but has been scientifically proven to decrease productivity, increase stress, and sour people’s mood. Do your best to let the sunlight shine in the workplace. If your office doesn’t have many windows, it’s even more important to allow employees to get outside during the day.
Additionally, the right temperature will keep your employees motivated throughout the day. While it’s important to keep the office cool during the summer, blasting the air conditioner isn’t the solution. A study from Cornell University found that employees make 44 percent more mistakes when the temperature is below 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Strive to keep the workplace warm but not too hot.
Keep employees motivated with clear goals and objectives
Successful employees get their work done regardless of the weather and time of year. The best way to keep everyone motivated is to establish clear objectives, goals, and deadlines.
Your team members will know exactly what they’re expected to accomplish before they leave the workplace to enjoy a beautiful day or go on an extended vacation. The business will continue to operate without a hitch and your employees will be able to enjoy their time away knowing they’ve met all their job responsibilities.