Summers can be unproductive in the office and probably the worse month is August when workers get into an end-of-summer slump. But you can motivate your employees and yourself.
Get Workers Out Of The Office: New settings—even temporarily—can boost morale. “At Grammarly, we begin to plan our annual offsite meeting during the dog days of summer,” shares Jessica Nobrega, director of talent at writing enhancement app Grammarly. “The offsite typically takes place in early fall in another country. Discussing and booking travel is an exciting event that invigorates the whole team and provides us with something to look forward to.”
The change doesn’t have to be as big as a company retreat. There can be small location changes as well. “Change the scenery,” says Nobrega. “Encourage managers to take a meeting outside, or arrange for walking meetings to help staff enjoy the fresh air while working hard.”
Dr. Gopal Chopa, a NYC-based neurosurgeon-turned-entrepreneur and founder of the medical app company PINGMD, agrees. “Reinvigorate your staff. Have lunch outside, get the team to a nice place with outdoor seating. It’s a great way to get the team together and creates a fresh break,” says Dr. Chopa.
Encourage Team Work: When employees are working as a team, they can motivate each other and take their minds off the season. “Plan team-building events,” explains Nobrega. “Hiking, happy hour, or a museum excursion are all interesting activities that employers can plan on behalf of their teams. This summer, the Grammarly team went hiking, among other activities. This is a great way to get to know your co-workers outside of work — and to take advantage of the beautiful summer days.”
Dr. Chopa says get the staff’s creative juices flowing. “Participate in creative marketing exercises, make videos, design stickers, rethink slogans, create a YouTube account…these creative sessions get everyone’s juices going and are great for team-building. Also, set up an award.”
Flex A Little: We all know how hard it is to focus during the lazy days of summer, so offer employees some flexibility. “Be flexible –let them work at their personal most productive time of day, not the ‘typical’ 9-5 office hours,” says productivity expert and coach Erica Duran. “Or, let them work from home a few times a week to be with their family, or just for a change of scenery – as long as they get their assignments done.” Also, be flexible in the work—for a little bit. See if employees want to “learn or try something new to break up the monotony. Maybe switch jobs with a team member for a few weeks,” says Duran.
Encourage Fun At Home: See if you can get your staff to do some fun things on the weekend they can come brag about at work. Lead by example on this one. “Photogram the weekends and share with your team so that you are out of the office and encouraging them to get out in the summer and enjoy the fun activities. It’s a way to show your wild side, improves relationships and is a lot of fun talking about around the water cooler on the Monday to kick off the week,” says Dr. Chopa.