Between vacations, holidays, and “half-day” Fridays, it’s common for employees to slow down as the weather heats up, with workplace productivity dropping up to 20% between the months of June and August.
However, just because it’s hot outside, doesn’t mean you should lose your shirt. If you run a business, here are three tips to maintain efficiency, motivate employees and ensure your team is still working up a sweat over the summer months.
New technology can help everyone get some sun
Are your employees gazing longingly out of their office windows, dreaming of patios and upcoming family vacations? Think about incorporating some flexible work practices this summer, even if it’s just on a trial basis. While it’s difficult for many employers to imagine people maintaining their productivity at home, countless studies have shown that flexible work leads to happier, more engaged, more productive team members.
To unlock these benefits, you first have to provide employees with the powerful communication and collaboration tools they need to work as effectively outside the office as they do inside it. Some examples include technology that automatically reroutes office calls to your staff’s smartphones, video conferencing tools that allow employees to connect face-to-face throughout the day, and new cloud solutions such as Soda PDF Anywhere that enable users to create, convert, edit, review, insert, secure, and even sign PDFs on the go.
Imagine one of your key team members sitting poolside or on a patio, conveniently accessing the same PDF file they were working on in the office, and then editing, signing and sending it to a client—all while working on a mean tan. Thanks to new cloud technologies such as these, you can now give every employee the freedom to enjoy their summer.
Proper communication will keep everybody cool
While you loosen the rope and give employees increased flexibility, at the same time it’s important they understand the business can’t just accept a lower output in the summer months.
If you haven’t already, set aside a few minutes to chat with each team member about their summer plans. If there are any important projects or deadlines on the horizon, let them know you need them in the office. Similarly, they might have a few can’t-miss events of their own (family reunions, weddings, etc.) that they need to put on your radar.
Additionally, make sure your people know they need to go further than filling out a vacation request. Have team members develop detailed hand-offs and clear transition plans, and consider taking on an intern and setting up training sessions before an employee is fully out the door.
As long as everyone is communicating, there will be no missed deadlines or hurt feelings.
Well-being initiatives just might heat up your productivity
Summer is lovely and let’s face it: there’s really nothing businesses can do to fight back against its considerable charms. So why not fight fire with fire? Take steps to get your employees outside and moving by scheduling walking meetings, setting up company picnics with healthy lunches, and promoting overall wellness in the workplace.
If they live close, encourage employees to bike to work, and if not, tell them to take an hour at lunch to go for a jog. Also consider introducing wellness reimbursement programs that cover gym memberships, or using the latest wearable technology to set up a friendly step-counting competition between staff.
While summer’s a known distraction for most employees, wellness initiatives are proven to increase workplace productivity, meaning you can potentially offset any lost production by helping your employees get out and soak up the sun.
The warm summer sun no longer has to sear a black mark on your business’ books. By promoting wellness, communicating with staff effectively, and adopting new cloud technologies that keep team members accountable and effective wherever they are, you can ensure employee productivity burns bright all summer long.
Sebastien Bisch is the vice-president of marketing for LULU Software.