While Summer often means we have a holiday to look forward to, the usual Summer slump is still unavoidable, especially when it involves a Typhoon-induced heatwave. In fact, studies have shown that productivity levels drop on average 20% over the Summer months, which can seriously affect a company's performance.
Most companies won't have a fully-staffed week in the Summer months - a phenomenon that’s more pronounced in a city like Hong Kong, where the entire city seems to evacuate by land, air, and junk.
But don’t feel defeated by the heat just yet! Keep reading below for tips and tricks on how to keep your team productive through the Summer months while enjoying everything the season has to offer.
Minimising disruptions due to having staff on leave is key to keeping up the company's usual level of productivity. Getting the team into the habit of making a detailed list of tasks to handoff, anticipating issues that may arise, and setting up proper meetings to discuss these points before they leave is crucial. Having all these procedures in place before is ideal, even though it should be general practice all year around anyway.
We have a tendency to tune out (and be annoyed by) all the “Out of Office” emails we get throughout Summer. Rather than ignoring them, mark the dates down in your calendar, so you can better gauge when you’ll be getting a response on an important project. If you’re the one going away, it’s best to have an emergency line or email for team members to get in touch for urgent matters, which will put everyone at ease.
Instead of checking your emails first thing in the morning, try working on and completing an important task. This way, you can start your day on a high note, and have the confidence to get through the rest of your day with the motivation of having been very productive already. It’s best to keep on top of communication and coordination in the morning in general over the Summer to avoid missing people checking out for a week Thailand on a Friday afternoon.
Taking a cold shower has shown to increase endorphin levels in the brain and decrease lethargy, and of course there’s the added bonus staying sweat-free for that extra five minutes. Also, make sure the office is cool enough throughout Summer, as research has found that 22 degrees Celsius(77 degrees Fahrenheit) is the ideal temperature for workplace productivity.
Social Media is always a big distraction in the workplace (86 times / day to be exact), but the issue magnifies exponentially over the Summer because who doesn't want to know what their friends are eating for every meal on their holiday? Be more disciplined about how often you’re checking your phone by setting specific times in the day you can browse.
We all want to make the most of our Summer, but when we say yes to everything and let social engagements pile up, it can be hard to find time for ourselves. Spreading yourself too thin can easily turn into a situation where you’re unable to keep up with the demands of work as well. Learn when to say no, and know that your friends will understand.
Just because you’re grinding away at the office all Summer doesn’t mean you should just let yourself burn out. Make the most of your weekends by going on mini staycations to the beach, dine al fresco, or nap during the day - all the things you’d be doing if you’re away. Letting yourself indulge in these holiday-themed activities will help you feel more rested and ready to tackle the week.
Changing up typical company practices over the Summer not only helps with productivity, it can also affect company culture in a positive way. For example, allowing employees to have breakfast meetings or afternoon meetings away from the office is a great treat. Or setup a sandwich or salad bar at work on a Friday, so the entire team can have a fun, interactive lunch together.
Most companies will conduct staff reviews at the beginning or end of every year, but Summertime is the perfect time to sit-down and review your own performance. This not only allows you to consider your own performance outside of the opinions of your supervisors and managers, it also gives you the time to set your own goals and the opportunity to accomplish them in the remainder of the year.
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