The summer slump is a real phenomenon, and it’s no wonder. Think: it’s a beautiful 80-degree day and you have friends, family members and colleagues on vacation. You’re imagining being out on the golf course, wondering how your kids are doing at camp, daydreaming about visiting friends at the Jersey shore. Would you rather be outdoors than at the workplace? For most people, the answer is yes.
The summer mindset can be a huge problem for employers. Like kids who can’t wait for the school year to end, many adults find their minds wandering this time of year. This lack of focus can put a significant dent in business capacity. With so many employees taking pent-up PTO over the summer, businesses can hardly afford for staff members to be less productive.
On the other hand, a relaxed workplace can be a boon to productivity. It’s all about perspective—and implementation.
How to keep employees motivated and energized during summer?
1. Mix it up.
- New projects are exciting. So is learning new skills. Plan ahead for upcoming absences by redistributing the work well in advance and ensuring that employees are cross trained to handle colleague’s tasks. Demonstrate your confidence by giving team members the autonomy to train one another. Let workers spread their wings to avoid monotony and strengthen skills. You might even discover talents in employees you may have underestimated before.
2. Keep it cool and airy.
- Who doesn’t struggle to concentrate in a hot and stuffy workplace? OSHA says office temperatures should be between 68 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit, with the ideal for productivity a moderate 71.6 degrees (source: Helinsky University). Air quality is also a huge factor. Fresh, clean air brings more oxygen into the body, which opens the mind, relieves stress and provides energy. Harvard researchers found that individuals made better decisions with increased ventilation. The productivity benefits from doubling ventilation rates: an astounding $6,500 per person per year at a cost of less than $40 a person annually. At NEMR, we invested in a state-of-the-art filtration system before returning to the office from the pandemic. We felt that it was important to our employees’ health and well-being. Plus, the clean air is not only refreshing, it keeps us more comfortable and focused.
3. Lean into relaxation.
- Many executives and managers think that high pressure leads to high performance. Yet, a go-go-go environment can be exhausting and have just the opposite effect. Faced with too much pressure, employees go into survival mode, which can lead to reductions in quality and innovation. There’s much to be said for easing up on the constant pressure, especially during the summer months when employees are feeling more relaxed to begin with.
4. Take it outside.
- Why fight it? At NEMR, we encourage our team to enjoy the beautiful weather, with “walking” 1:1’s, group meetings and breaks. We also promote holding meetings at areas outside at the picnic tables near our office. Another strategy: we line up volunteer events to get out of the office, help in the community and break up any “office monotony.”
5. Focus on organization.
- Employees spend countless hours preparing for vacation, and then getting back up to speed when they return. If you have project management software, now would be a good time to maximize utilization across the enterprise. If you don’t, you might want to consider it as a tool to free up your talent for high-value tasks like creative and critical thinking, coaching others and developing new strategies.
Optimizing your human capital takes a broad base of expertise and a deliberate approach. NEMR Total HR can help with all of your human resource challenges. Chat with us or Email Us.