Summertime means enjoying some down time for many employees—and less time thinking about work. Warm sunny days may make it difficult to focus on work when getaway spots beckon (as do kids home from school). One study revealed that workplace productivity drops 20% and projects take 13% longer to complete during the summer. Other studies have revealed that 45% of workers feel their personal lives suffer because of extra demands from work and 75% rank workplace flexibility as a top benefit.
Employers who acknowledge and accommodate a “summer hours” mindset will help maintain employee productivity and satisfaction. There are many opportunities to flex that flexibility muscle during the summer and keep employees engaged with your company by adapting to their preferences for more time with family or less rigid work policies. Doing so fosters a higher level of workplace satisfaction and engagement now, and will promote a happier team spirit throughout the year.
Keeping workers engaged during the summer months is a challenge! Use the opportunity during the nice weather to increase employee engagement through a variety of fun activities:
- Plan fun events that take advantage of the warmer weather and promote togetherness:
- Ice cream socials
- Barbecues/catered picnics/outdoor luncheons
- Organized walks in a natural setting such as a nearby park
- Miniature golf outing
- Sponsor Company “sports teams” in activities that most employees, including non-athletes can participate in, such as softball, badminton, kickball, croquet. To promote fair-minded competition, award prizes such as trophies, medals, gift cards, or even work-related rewards like an extra day off.
- Indoor considerations can also lighten the spirit for summer and offer additional ways to receive prizes, with the following list of ideas leading the way toward good humor and creative expression:
- Relax the usual formal office dress code, allowing for concepts such as “Hawaiian Shirt Friday” or “Crazy Tee Tuesday.”
- Encourage employees to decorate their workspaces with themes such as beach fun or tropical adventure.
- Perform weekly drawings to incentivize workers to be on-site on a regular basis. Ideas to be considered: summer themed baskets, event tickets, and gift cards.
- Celebrate family by holding an open house where employees can bring their loved ones into the workplace. Including refreshments and kid-related activities will encourage attendance.
It is very important for employers to create fun, social opportunities for employees to come together in order to continue nurturing a strong company culture. Summer is the perfect setting to enjoy common activities and employees will welcome employer’s that will yield friendly memories for years to come.
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