Let’s face it. A long workday can be made exponentially longer when you can’t seem to shift your mind from sunny beaches on summer days to the spreadsheets you have to finish at work. For employees, summertime can severely challenge their motivation to be in a cubicle when it seems like everyone else is lounging by a pool or sipping a mojito. As an employer, this can be a difficult hurdle to overcome. However, we have some tips on ways you can use the rising summer temperatures to actual boost morale and keep your employees engaged in the office even when they’d rather be outside of it!
We understand that not every type of work environment or production schedule can accomodate summer hours, but if your company CAN, this is a huge perk that can be highly valued by your employees. Summer hours can be the light at the end of the tunnel for employees just coming out of that long post-Christmas to Memorial Day stretch with no breaks (seriously, someone should add a national holiday in there!) Knowing they will get to duck out a little early on Fridays can improve morale and make employees really drive that much harder at their initiatives earlier in the week.
Long lunches or half days.
Nothing is music to an employee’s ears quite like their boss coming in and saying, “Hey, if you wrap up your report by three today, why don’t you get a head start on your weekend?” Unexpected little surprises like this are a great incentive to show employees you are paying attention to the work they are completing and appreciate their efforts. And if your employees have worked hard and finished up their duties for the week, why NOT give them an extra half hour to enjoy their lunch break or get a couple extra hours to enjoy the weather at the end of the day?
Encourage vacation time.
Even though vacation time seems to be a very important part of the benefits package to employees, many actually do not take advantage of this already granted perk, be it because they get too caught up in the daily grind or they feel guilty or scared to actually ask their boss for the time off. Make sure you are NOT the type of boss that an employee feels like they will get a guilt trip from when they come to talk about a family trip to Disney World. Summer is a great time to take a vacation and get a break and some R and R from the hectic bustle of a 9-5, so make sure you are encouraging rather then deterring your employees to take the vacation time they have accrued. They will come back rejuvenated and ready to hop right back into their duties with a re-energized enthusiasm!
Again, this depends on the work environment because we understand that some occupations require you to be in uniform or business professional attire while on the job, but if your company can allow some flexibility, something like Casual Fridays are another way to boost employee morale. Let’s face it. A hot day is ten times hotter when you’re wearing a suit and tie, so as long as you establish some guidelines for appropriate summer attire through a company dress code, allowing them to trade in that business professional garb for something a little more casual at least once a week will be appreciated!
Company BBQ’s and softball leagues.
Organizing a few after-hour activities for your team to take advantage of the summer weather can boost both morale and camaraderie. Giving your employees a chance to bond outside the office walls can enhance their teamwork once they are back inside the office, so hosting a summer BBQ or starting a company team in a local softball league are perfect ways to take advantage of the summer AND strengthen your team!
Just remember, the happier your team is, the more motivated and productive they often are, so considering these little incentives can go a long way!