Staying focused on work in the summer isn’t easy. Most of us would trade in our office chair for a deck chair in a New York minute. But the reality is many employees do put in desk time during the dog days of August. This fact of life doesn’t need to foster grumbles and complaints. To the contrary, summer is a great time to build spirit.
At The Bagg Group, we have placed more than 57,200 people over 40 years. With this breadth of experience, we know the happiest people on the job are those who feel appreciated. This is true not only in the GTA, but worldwide. A recent study by an American research firm, Retensa, shows 64% of people in the US who leave their jobs say they do so because they feel unappreciated.
One way to show people you care is to acknowledge that putting on a jacket and commuting to work in August isn’t on anyone’s “great things to do this summer” list. But you can help make the best of it. Our clients, the best employers in the GTA, often make a point of implementing summer enjoyment plans to sustain productivity and morale when everyone would rather be canoeing.
The workplace experts at The Bagg Group share these tips for inspiring and motivating those who spend their August in the office. You can’t move the office to the lake, but you can bring a little camp spirit into the workplace.
Organize a summer party: At The Bagg Group, we have a hugely popular tradition of hiring a bus and taking all employees to cottage country on a Friday in August for a summer celebration that’s second to none. The shared experience of beaching, boating and barbequing bring staff closer together and recharge everyone’s batteries.
Encourage postings of summer events: One New York firm reports employee appreciation of its summer list of updated free outdoor events which it distributes to everyone in the office. Another company holds a weekly contest for the best suggestion for what to do in the city during the summer.
Take your meeting outside: Consider holding one-on-one or small group meetings at a coffee patio if you can. It’s a small gesture that acknowledges everyone’s desire to revel in the summer while we have it.
Encourage outdoor lunches and ice-cream breaks: Studies show that workplace productivity increases when people take an “outdoor recess,” even if it’s only 15 minutes.
Hold brainstorming sessions: Typically, business can slow on Fridays and around long weekends when clients may be focused on speeding out of the office. This can be a great time to get people together for a stimulating ideas exchange on how to improve services, products, or processes. Again, doing it outside or with a round of chillers sets a relaxing tone for better blue-sky thinking and makes it an engaging summertime event.
Finally, it’s useful to help people keep things in perspective. Working in the summer is one thing, but having a tough summer job like many of us did in our teen years is another. Even Donald Trump looks back and shudders at his long, hot summers spent collecting soda bottles to return for a deposit.
Slate.com compiled a list of the most common summer jobs for teens and reports even those usually considered fun aren’t always a picnic. Take lifeguarding. Writer Avi Zenilman says it involves repeatedly cleaning a pool, and worse,“Sunbun, sunburn, sunburn.”
Sure enough, this serves as a comforting reminder that in this season of sunburns and mosquitoes, there are worse places to be than in a temperature-controlled workplace. In fact, stock the kitchen with smores, a traditional summertime marshmallow and chocolate snack, and August at work can start to feel a whole lot better. ?