The weather is more pleasant, vacation is calling, and all of the kids are out of school. Summer is a time that has a certain relaxed feel to it, as it should, but is it killing your workplace flow?
Maintaining office efficiency and productivity in the summer months is a common problem. In fact, an article by the Chicago Tribune sites reveals “several studies of white collar workers show a significant decrease in employee productivity during the summer months, as well as a drop in attendance.”
Lucky for us though, we live in a time where technology can help us to overcome the toughest of feats in the workplace. Check out these unique tips for keeping productivity up but the mood light in the workplace this summer:
Change up the Rules
If your company holds a traditional 9 to 5 schedule, consider allowing for summer schedules that include some telecommuting and flexible hours. Use the summer as a time to recharge and refresh employees so that come September, productivity is up like ever before. In fact, there’s some science (well, statistics) behind this. Business News Daily reports: “According to a study conducted by Toggl, a time tracker and employee timesheet software company, mid-May is when its tool’s daily usage drops 22 percent from the yearly average. Conversely, the highest overall yearly productivity is in September, with the most active users and sign-ups.”
We’re in an age where communication is almost always possible. In many cases, it’s about the end result rather than the hours clocked anyway, so embracing some flex hours might be a great idea. However; to avoid lapses in productivity, it’s important have a plan in mind. Team chat programs are ideal for keeping up productivity even if you’re not all in the same room together each day, as listed as a top tip on how to keep up work efficiency. These programs feature group/private chat, file transfer, screen-sharing, scheduling, to-do lists, and more. In fact, using team/group chat programs even on a regular basis can improve communication, which then in turn improves efficiency.
Throw in some Fun
Workplace nap pods/rooms are gaining popularity as companies like Huffington Post and Nike boast their increase in productivity as a result. This summer, Orange County-based start-up Nappify is launching their personal mobile nap pods summer tour, offering free naptime trials for workplaces in certain cities. The company founder got the idea after noting the link between nap breaks and better job performance in Asian countries. According to Nappify, the ideal mid-day snooze is 40 minutes, so maybe a little late day siesta will dull the pain of being at work all day when the beach is calling.
To make this summer that much harder to muddle through, it’s also the summer of the 2016 Summer Olympics. All day, for several weeks, the distraction of sport will be looming. The solution? Bring out the good old fashioned TV. Sporting events are a good way to bring coworkers together to socialize so the work can get done when it’s time to get down to business. In fact, “by harnessing the interest and positivity of the sporting season, businesses have an opportunity to provide cost-effective rewards and office perks to keep employees motivated.”
Consider scheduling a shortened work day or mid-day break where the entire office gets together around a projector or TV screen (because we all know they’re going to be live streaming it on phones and computers anyway, right?). It may just be “an effective way for managers to maintain productivity levels in a period where many employees are distracted and glancing enviously at the window or TV screen.”
Embrace it, and Learn from it
Finally, if none of these options are feasible in your workplace, use the summer months to take a step back and reflect. The employees may be less productive or more distracted, but maybe this is perfect time for management and the major decision makers of the company to take stock of things and look to setting new goals for the fall.
Feeling a little disorganized? One idea is to consider Business process management, which entails “evaluating the current processes your business has in place and then identifying opportunities to improve performance outcomes.” This can mean several things depending on the business and the business’ long-term goals, but it can help to reduce paperwork, streamline processes, and bring an overall increase in efficiency. BPM is definitely not something to be done over a few weeks but it’s a great way to get on the right track as summer rolls to a close.