Avoid Summer Slump

Avoid Summer Slump

How To Improve Productivity For Yourself And Your Team This Summer

July and August are historically bad months for productivity. It might be the warm weather that is draining the energy of your employees or the idea of spending the day at the beach instead of the office. Regardless of the reason, the fact is that summer is a bummer in the business world.

Research confirms the summer slump. A study by Captivate Office Pulse found that productivity drops by 20% during the summer. Attendance also takes a hit by 19% and work turnaround time increases by 13%. Simply put, employees are in zombie mode from June to August.

Offering increased flexibility in the summer — summer hours, telecommuting, etc. — has further negative effects on employees. The same study revealed that 53% of those who leave early on Fridays report a drop in personal productivity. Twenty-three percent of those who leave early on weekends say their stress levels increase as they spend longer hours from Monday to Thursday making up for missed work.

In a study published by the Harvard Business School, it was revealed that bad weather conditions (more rain, lower visibility and high and low temperatures) relate to better productivity. That’s because people are less cognitively distracted when they aren’t thinking about being outside. The warm, sunny weather of the summer months, on the other hand, proves to be more of a distraction.

So, if summertime is such a productivity killer, is efficiency still possible? The answer is a resounding yes. Just because you and your team would rather be at the beach sipping piña coladas doesn’t mean you can’t finish work on time. Make work fun and keep your staff motivated during the summer with a few simple tips.


Tips For Your Own Productivity

1. Set short-term goals.

You may feel like giving up at the thought of having to endure the rest of the summer months. But you don’t have to survive that long — at least that’s what you should tell yourself. Set short-term goals instead of long-term ones. You’ll be more motivated to stay productive. Short-term goals are more attainable, giving you the drive to take on your next challenge. In the process, it helps you achieve your long-term goals faster.

Aim to be productive for a week or two as a starting point. Once you’ve achieved this, aim for another two weeks of optimal efficiency. Before you know it, you’ve made it through summer without the slump.


2. Switch up your routine.

Spending your summer at work instead of on vacation can feel uneventful. Sadly, in the professional world, summer holidays are often few and far between. But that is not to say you can’t have something to look forward to.

Break the monotony by switching up your routine. Add something new to your day that you can look forward to — be it a quick jog in the morning before heading to work, a short trip to the pub after a day at the office or cooking dinner for your family at home. At work, try out different restaurants for lunch or enjoy fun gimmicks at the office, like a costume party or movies during lunch. Adding something to spice up your day or week will keep your mind off of what you’re missing outside.


3. Schedule a vacation.

Everyone needs a break. So do you. Sometimes the more you push for efficiency, the more stressed you become and the less productive you are in the end. To stay productive for the long haul, plan a short vacation. Take a few days off to do what you have wanted to do all summer. Just make sure you finish all the work needed before leaving and delegate tasks properly. If you think you can’t afford to take a few days off, then that’s another problem.


Productivity Tips For Your Team

1. Don’t save on electricity costs.

Summer is known to bring sweltering temperatures, so don’t be an evil boss and force your employees to work in stifling conditions. This season is not the time to save on electricity — open your air conditioning and keep your workplace cold.

The optimal office temperature is between 70 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Making it too cold also hurts productivity. For best results, keep the AC to just the right temperature — you can ask your employees what they prefer.


2. Schedule team-building activities.

Give your team what they want and they’ll love you for it. Productivity decreases at work because employees would rather be somewhere else. To help beat this, why not go on an office vacation? Schedule a corporate team-building session.

A team outing is like a restart button. Not only does it reduce employee stress, it also gives everyone a chance to bond with each other. This leads to better productivity and collaboration when everyone gets back to work.

There are plenty of ways to have a meaningful and successful team-building day. A quick search on Google for “best team outing ideas” will give you a ton of ideas on what to do and where to go.

You don’t want this summer to be unproductive for you and your team — but you don’t want it to be boring, either. Get through the next month strong, and the weather will be cooling off before you know it.


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