School is out, the city pool is open, and the ice cream man’s truck can be seen going down neighborhood streets on weekday afternoons. It’s a perfect time to relax and enjoy the sticky, sunny days…
…Unless, like most of us, your days from June through August are no longer spent poolside, but instead inside your office building.
And while summer might not feel the same as it once did, there are some things you as an employer can do to make the most of the summer months and engage your employees.
Tip #1: Loosen The Dress Code
While we’d never advocate for swimsuits and cutoffs as office-appropriate attire, consider loosening up your office dress code in the sweltering summertime months. For some offices, this may mean jeans are OK; for others, it may mean dress suits aren’t required all five days a week. For some companies, it may even mean shorts and sleeveless shirts are OK. Whatever you decide, just make sure it’s within reason for your company’s image.
Tip #2: Enact Summer Hours
From Memorial to Labor Day, many companies adjust their business hours. Some eliminate working Fridays by working longer hours Monday through Thursday; others let employees come in early and leave early; still others let employees leave early even if they don’t come in early. By giving your employees a few extra hours in the summer months, you’re empathizing with them, which is huge—many who’d rather be outside with friends or family can take advantage of the “extra” time with children out of school, extra daylight, etc.
Tip #3: Celebrate The Season
Baseball games, holiday celebrations, picnics, beach days, happy hour—summer is known as a happy time. Why not bring some (or all) of those celebrations to your office? Involve your team in company-sponsored events both outside and inside the office. Whether it’s an afternoon ice cream party or a company trip to the ballpark, getting out (or staying in) and enjoying summertime is a great way to engage your employees and build relationships with them.
Tip #4: Get Outside
Would you consider taking meetings outside? What about afternoon walks or morning brainstorming sessions? Studies show working outside is good for your health—according to one article, just spending time in nature has been shown to lower stress levels and walking can increase creativity.
Tip #5: Encourage Vacation
Let’s just get this out in the open: Vacations are good for everyone. There’s a ton of evidence that supports this statement (just Google it!). When an employee feels encouraged (not in trouble) for using their vacation time, they’re more likely to enjoy their time away, return refreshed, and be thankful for the opportunity. (And business owners, this applies to you, too—make sure you take time for yourself to get away and unplug so you can come back with a clear mind and fresh ideas!)
Tip #6: Consider Flexible/Remote Work Situations
If you haven’t thought much about remote work, now may be a good time to start. Summer is a great opportunity to see if flexible work situations could benefit your business and your employees.
Even if you’d rather be at the pool, working during the summertime doesn’t have to be dreadful. What other tips do you have for increasing engagement during the summer months? Leave a comment or tweet us @MyGenesisHR and let us know what you’d add to the list!