Summer is just around the corner, and tends to be a difficult time for employers in terms of managing workers and staying ahead of the curve with productivity. Here’s the breakdown of what to expect in workplace during our beloved summer season and some tips on how to combat summer fever…
Is it hot in here?
Summer months mean a big increase in temperature. Duh, right? Well along with the change in temperature comes a change in attitude, believe it or not. Blazing city temperatures have employees dreading the business dress code or steamy commute on the subway, making them less motivated than usual to go into the office. It can therefore also greatly impact employee happiness and general wellbeing. In some extreme cases, hot and humid summer weather can cause heat stroke and even death. In fact, more Americans die from heat waves than all other natural disasters combined (NYC Health).
Some companies have responded with a more lenient dress code policy over the summer, or a car service (guaranteed AC), to steer clear of public transport, no pun intended. Other companies have taken a more drastic route and switched to a new office all together, outside of the city. For Manhattan, coworking spaces just a quick train ride away on Long Island (Nassau County) offer much cooler conditions (as much as 15 degrees lower) and an office right by the beach, so coming to work is just a little more appealing.
Mother nature and human nature go hand-in-hand. And who can blame us when our whole lives, we’ve associated summer with no school, pool parties, family vacations, and the ice cream man? Fast forward to working the 9-5 office grind, and summer can be slightly, well…depressing. Research shows that summer months bring a significant decrease in productivity and overall work quality in the office.
To maintain productivity, management can consider in-office incentives for meeting goals, or group activities to keep teams on track through the summer. One tactic which has brought significant results in battling the summer slump is an increase in workplace flexibility – And this doesn’t necessarily mean work-from-home (because we all know a home office can be equally as unproductive as a stuffy cubicle). Employers can opt for packages with nearby coworking spaces so that employees can set their own hours (coworking spaces are typically open to members 24-7), be closer to home, and work from a more relaxed environment than the traditional office. Coworking spaces also offer frequent networking events and professional workshops that aid in keeping you at the top of your work-game.
Tis the season for vacation
With kids out of school and unbeatable getaway deals, July and August have the highest volume for vacation requests of the year. It can certainly be a challenge for employers to manage and accommodate vacation and PTO requests while ensuring everything in the office will get done.
Some HR experts recommend distributing a memo to employees in the Spring, requesting vacation plan notice and, for people without solid plans, incentives to hold off until September. Freelancers and independent consultants can also be brought on to help fill some of the gaps during busy periods or demanding projects. Some of the world’s most progressive companies like Automattic, Buffer, and Netflix, have experimented with combining work and vacation—a work getaway, remote retreat, workcation, coworking camp, call it what you will, these R&R geared programs are proven to boost productivity and creativity immensely while also contributing to team bonding. The best part? It doesn’t necessarily require a fancy 5-star hotel or even a flight. The research shows that the most effective aspect of the working getaway is simply a change of scenery.