Summer is here, and that means the productivity in your office may be slipping. The sun is out later, the days are hotter, and there are many worthy distractions around every corner. Let's talk about summer and productivity with some tips that will help you create the most productive environment for your employees this summer.
Promote flexibility with a summer schedule
Since your employees are likely antsy during the summer, it might be the perfect time to think about creating summer hours for your office. There are several summer schedules you may want to look into, like:
- Summer Fridays: Letting your workers take every Friday off or one Friday off per month during the summer.
- Early Release Schedules: Letting your employees work one or two fewer hours each day during the summer.
- Remote Work Opportunities: Promoting more remote work during the summer when you don't need as many people in the office.
Giving your workers some leeway with summer schedules will help them accomplish more with the time they do have. We know that our employees don't use their full 40 hours for productivity, so allowing them to spend that time away from work helps them be more refreshed and excited to tackle tasks during the summer.
Provide daycare assistance for working parents during the summer
School is out and, for many working parents, that can be an issue. Childcare is expensive, and parents may find themselves pulled between work and home if they can't find adequate help. Providing daycare assistance or on-site daycare services can be one of the most beneficial things you can do to help working parents during the summer. While giving this help can be costly, the return on investment is clear: your working parents are less anxious, and they have more time to devote to employment during the summer.
Schedule important meetings during peak productivity times
If you want to be productive, you've got to create a productive environment. You should strive to have important meetings during the most productive time of the day. Instead of holding meetings after lunch on a Friday, consider the best time for your employees. Most employees find that before 11 a.m. at the beginning of the week is their most productive time. While you don't want to force someone into nonessential meetings during peak productive hours, you do want to hold the most important meetings during that time. So, daily check-ins can happen after lunch, but hold the multimillion-dollar client meetings before 11 a.m.
Use your summer downtime to tackle new and exciting projects
Summer is the perfect time to mix it up at work. Your employees want something new to tackle, and you likely have a ton of tasks that were put on the backburner. It’s time to bring out some of those tasks you'd like to get done, now that you have fewer things to work on.
You want to work on an exciting new project that invigorates your team and gets them excited about work again. If you don't have any tasks in mind, think about the ideas your employees have. Reach out to your most creative employees to see what ideas they've wanted to pitch the company. Some of Google's best ideas came from its' employees. Consider creating a summer innovation contest for your employees and awarding the employee with the most innovative idea and proposal.
Let the light In
Windows are not the enemy of productivity. There is a reason that corner offices and the window seat of a plane are such coveted space. We are drawn to the light, and windows can help boost productivity. Closing your employees off from the outside world won’t make them less curious about what’s going on outside. You have to trust that giving your employees more autonomy will work out for you and them.
Teach productivity hacks at work meetings
If you want your workers to be more productive, take the time to teach them some great productivity hacks. While this may seem like common sense, we all need a refresher or a lesson in productivity techniques sometimes. We are all trying to work smarter, not harder, and that is difficult to do if we haven’t found our stride yet.
There are many productivity hacks you could teach at meetings. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
The Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management hack that includes small breaks and spurts of productivity. Using a timer, you work diligently on one task for 25 minutes. Once that time is up, you take a short, 5-minute break. You repeat this for four 25-minute cycles, and then you take a longer 15 to 20-minute break. An entire Pomodoro cycle should take a little over two hours.
When we have a ton on our plates, sometimes the best thing we can do is write it all down. Brain dumping is the act of writing out what's on our mind until it’s all there on paper. Once the list is complete, we can sort it all out into categories, add things to our to-do list or save ideas for later. It's a helpful way to get rid of all the things that are bothering us so we can focus on the things that matter most.
Writing three main tasks
To-do lists can be neverending and overwhelming. Instead of focusing on the big picture, writing down three main tasks for the day helps you focus. Teaching your employees the power of creating mini to-do lists is a powerful way to talk about productivity.
There are countless productivity tips you can share with your employees. Get to know their productivity habits and find new ways to promote getting things done at work. Through these experiments, you may help to unlock a new layer of productivity in your employees. Most people don't have time to discover the best ways to get things done. By permitting your employees to experiment, you help them refine their skills and increase output for your company.
Tweak your office temperature to promote productivity
Have you considered the temperature in your office? Working in an office that is too hot or too cold can harm productivity. Find the perfect balance in your office so your workers can focus on work and not the temperature they are working in.
First, focus on your office not being too hot to function. You can always bring a sweater if the office is chilly, but dealing with extreme heat can lead to adverse health outcomes for your employees.
You don't want workers overheating or being too uncomfortable to get work done during the summer. Heatstroke and other heat-related issues are not only detrimental, they are also not always easily detectable to the employee or those around them. Keep your building cooler to err on the side of safety during the summer.
Summer is an exciting time of year for many employers and employees. It’s synonymous with vacations and time off, but as an adult, the show must go on. Creating a fun, productive environment for your employees is one of the best ways to stay on track with work this summer. What will you do to promote productivity at work this season?