Summerize! How to Make the Most of Summer in Your Workplace
They say Canada has two seasons: hockey and four months of poor ski conditions. So, when that brief respite from the cold finally arrives, Canadians can’t be faulted for wanting to get out and make the most of it. Unfortunately -- for many of us grownups at least – enjoying a gorgeous summer day is limited to staring at it longingly from the confines of an air-conditioned office.
Enjoying summer doesn’t have to be restricted to after work hours. In fact, incorporating some summer fun into your office routine can lead to happier employees and even reverse the slump in productivity that often happens when the temperatures heat up. Here are a few ways you can brighten up the mood in your workplace this season.
Loosen up on the dress code. Just like with “causal Fridays”; endorsing a more casual dress code during the summer is a simple way to create a more relaxed atmosphere and make for cheerier employees. Of course, there are boundaries – open toed shoes and short sleeves are good; cut off shorts and flip flops…not so much.
Get out of the office. No one enjoys being stuck in a stuffy boardroom, especially when blue skies beckon! Hold that regular Monday staff meeting outside on the patio of a nearby coffee shop, or take it to a park where everyone can walk while they talk. An added bonus: the change in scenery can help breed creativity and new ideas.
Be more flexible with office hours . Summer is short, so your employees will appreciate having a little more time to enjoy the warm weather. Introduce flex time that lets employees bank hours towards taking a day off every second week. Or, if your business allows for it, shut down early on Friday. Working a little less can actually be good for business; research shows that people who work summer hours are actually more productive.
Be cool. But not too cool. When temperatures soar outside, it’s tempting to crank the A/C inside. And while it’s not pleasant to be overheated at the workplace, studies have found that when the office is too cold, employee productivity plummets. The fight over the thermostat may be an age old issue, but striving to find a temperature everyone can live with will make for sunnier dispositions all around.
For some businesses, summer is simply a slower season. Instead of fretting about a temporary slump, make the best of the downtime. Here’s how:
Host a staff barbecue . Boosting workplace morale can be as simple as offering good food and an extended lunch hour. Having the boss flip some burgers is a tasty way to show appreciation for your employees, and a communal lunch – that could also include a few rounds of bocce ball – is a great way to encourage teambuilding.
Plan a brainstorming session. Long summer days are ripe for daydreaming, so harness that creativity and plan an afternoon of brainstorming. Employees feel more fulfilled when they get to share ideas and help plan for the future, so tap into the brainpower you have at hand and discover new ways to improve the workplace or increase sales.
Encourage more responsibility . When business is slower, that’s a good time to let a junior employee take on higher level tasks or try on a new role. Maybe someone could take over the boss’s job for an afternoon or a day...which means you can slip away from the office and enjoy some of that sunshine for yourself!