As days get longer and temperatures hotter, it can be hard to maintain morale in an office environment especially when pressure begins to mount. Summer-time stress and increased workload is inevitable, with a shocking 56% of HR professionals saying they notice colleagues suffering from burnout1.
Head of Coaching at Westfield Health, Mark Pinches, shares some tips to help keep employees engaged, motivated and focused during the summer months.
1. Flexible working
“Offering a flexible schedule during the summer months may make a lot of employees’ lives easier. Businesses can also offer summer holiday hours or the option to work from home a few days a week. If an employee has a long commute, this will free up their evenings to spend time with loved ones and enjoy the warmer, lighter evenings. Not only will this mean staff are more productive when they return to the office, the temptation to call in sick when the weather is nice will be reduced.”
2. Dress code
“Wearing a full suit or business attire during the summer months will most likely make employees uncomfortable and therefore reduce productivity. Although professional attire is needed in some industries, introducing seasonal guidelines where slightly more casual clothes are allowed when it’s warm will mean businesses can proactively address issues around discomfort brought on by dress codes.”
3. Set goals and rewards
“Picking up workload from colleagues who are on holiday can often leave employees feeling overworked and prone to procrastination or disengagement. This can be combatted by introducing new initiatives and setting rewards for reaching personal achievements.
“Competitions can include sports days, quizzes or a step challenge and can either be judged individually or in teams. Introduce prizes to build competitiveness such as a free massage, healthy food vouchers or a gym subscription, resulting in a happier, healthier lifestyle for all employees involved. It’s also a nice ‘thank you’ for employees who feel they’ve been experiencing increased workload.”
4. Get outside
“For businesses that can’t offer flexible hours or remote working, an alternative would be to introduce initiatives to encourage employees to get outside during breaks and at lunchtime. Getting fresh air will mean employees return to their desks feeling mentally refreshed and less stressed, as just a few minutes in the outdoors or a change of scenery can have a noticeable impact on productivity levels. If an outdoor space isn’t available, suggest having a walking catch up every now and again.”
“Break up the routine of the working week by organising social events with employees. Not only will this encourage team bonding, it will help people stay relaxed and in good spirits. If the weather is nice, tie it in with being outside by hosting a barbeque or picnic.”
Full findings of the next Westfield Health Wellbeing Index Report, focusing on summer burnout and how to build resilience, will be released on Wednesday 31st July.
For more information, please visit: https://www.westfieldhealth.com/
*1 Figures taken from research conducted by Westfield Health in June 2019 for the Wellbeing Index Report, surveying 2,014 UK employees.