Summer is in full swing, which means many of us are fighting the inevitable summer slump. Whether it is because clients are heading out in droves to take their families on vacation, employees are disappearing for hours-long lunches because the weather is too hard to ignore, or no one is really in the mood to do anything, you have got to find ways to beat the summer slump and stay productive.
So, how do you help your office avoid the distracting siren call of summer and keep productivity high? It is all about providing the right motivation and keeping everyone busy because, as you will soon see if you are not prepared for it, it is not enough to just get people to show up. The time spent at work needs to be meaningful and fruitful if you want to continue maximizing effort and output.
Here are 9 ways to keep your workplace productive this summer:
1. Find the right temperature.
Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cannot dictate how businesses control their thermostat during the summer months, they do suggest that the ideal temperature range for an office environment is between 68° and 76°. So if you are trying to keep your employees’ minds off of the temperature outside or the potential discomfort inside, set it at an appropriate level.
2. Set flexible hours.
Thanks to longer daylight hours during the summer, you may find that you have employees who want to come in earlier so they can wrap up their day sooner and still have time to enjoy the sunshine and warmth. Think about creating a flexible work schedule for employees that keeps them from feeling like they are chained to their desk during optimal summer hours.
3. Encourage outdoor breaks.
That being said, there’s no reason why you or your employees should not take the time to step outside in the middle of the workday—especially since there are such great health benefits to doing so. Think about how many days in the winter you end up powering through projects so that you will not have to step out into the cold. Take advantage of the sunshine and warmth now, and encourage employees to do so as well.
4. Clean up.
If your business tends to slow down over the summer months, now is the perfect time to clean up around the office. Plan time for everyone to work on cleaning their workspace. If you do not already have a recycling program in place, you can start small with something like the Xerox Green World Alliance recycling program. That’ll help cut down on unnecessary clutter, while also ensuring your business does not contribute to inappropriate trash disposal trends.
Someone will always have the excuse that they are too busy to make a copy or scan of a document and that they will get to it later. Well, the slow summer months are a good time to get on top of that. If you have stacks of paperwork sitting around that are in desperate need of a digital backup, now is the time to take care of them. Xerox has a wide range of multifunction printers as well as standalone scanners that can help you get the job done.
6. Revisit your goals.
Sometimes it is nice to have a break from the go-go-go and just to take a moment to breathe—but just a moment. As things quiet down around the office this summer, keep yourself as well as your employees focused on moving forward. That is why this is the perfect time to check in on annual/quarterly/monthly goals, track your progress, and readjust for the remainder of the year.
7. Mobilize your workplace.
Let’s face it: not everyone will be content to stay in the office this summer, no matter how busy you keep them. If you have the sort of business model that empowers employees to work on the go, however, you will want to make sure your network and equipment are set up to work with your mobilized workforce. Xerox’s ConnectKey technology is just one of the ways you can make employees happy while continuing to foster a productive and secure environment.
Your company’s paperwork and work spaces are not the only things in need of cleaning up. Why not spend some time this summer taking stock of your business hardware? Are there any pieces of equipment you do not use? How about any that are continually in need of repairs and costing you more money than they are worth? If you were not aware of it already, look into Xerox’s trade-in program. You can get money for old, clunky, unreliable hardware and invest it into more efficient and secure tools to run your business.
9. Stay sharp.
While a lot of time this summer will be spent on “busy” work, it is just as important to invest in yourself and stay sharp no matter how slow work gets. Read job-related books. Start listening to an industry podcast. Sign up for an online tutorial. Moreover, encourage your employees to do the same. It is hard to find the time to do these self-improvement tasks the rest of the year, so take advantage of the summer slump.
The summer is an excellent time to kick back, catch some rays, and eat a lot of ice cream—when you are not on the clock. If you want to ensure that your office remains productive despite the summer slump and that your employees are happily motivated to do so, work on creating a work environment that is set up to do so. This means providing employees with meaningful work, creating flexibility in how that work gets done, and keeping everyone’s minds focused on the future.
Now you can take a break with peace of mind. Can’t completely disconnect while on vacation? Learn how to enjoy your summer vacation and still stay in touch with your business in this article.
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