One recent US study found that in summer months, workplace productivity goes down by 20 per cent. If you’d like to maintain a happy medium between a content workforce and productivity levels, here are a few things you may want to consider…
Do A Building Check
Is your air conditioning set up and ready to go? Who knows how to use it? You don’t want to risk the only person who knows how to operate your building management system (BMS) being absent when there’s a heat wave. Now’s the time to do a check on your buildings and BMS to make sure everything is set up for comfort and maximum energy savings. Start with the basics like checking all your windows and blinds are fully functioning, so you can take advantage of natural light and fresh air. Check out our guide for energy saving in the hospitality industry for more ideas.
Add Some Flexibility
Daylight saving time is all about gaining more hours of sunshine for productivity but it doesn’t always work that way in practice. There are all sorts of reasons why you might consider allowing more flexible working hours and practices over the summer. Firstly, some employees may find themselves awake and ready to work far earlier thanks to the lighter mornings. Others may struggle to sleep due to warmer nights and crave a later start as a result. For parents with kids off school, flexibility may be required to allow them to prepare and transport children for childcare.
Factoring in some home working over summer could be a smart way to allow staff to work more hours rather than taking full days due to family or travel commitments. In the US, many businesses choose to offer their workers half days on Fridays through summer. This allows employees to spend time with their families or friends during the warmer weather. Could flexible Fridays work for your business?
Skillshare or Outsource
How many times has a project come to a halt because the person driving it has taken annual leave? If there are tasks or processes in your business that rely on specific staff members you may want to holiday-proof them through skill sharing or outsourcing.
It’s always wise to keep an eye on annual leave requests to ensure work is covered but even with the best communications in place, sickness, unexpected project deadlines or last-minute travel plans mean that having a cover plan in place will protect productivity.
And if you choose to temporarily outsource tasks, it’s far easier to check temp workers have the necessary skills and understanding by involving those they will be covering in the recruitment process.
You can prep thoroughly in your own business for the impact of summer holidays or extreme weather and still find that you need to weigh up and shift priorities. It’s not always possible to avoid crossover of staff holidays or line managers being absent when they alone can sign off a project. There is, of course, the small matter of holidays impacting at client or business partner end too.
In these circumstances, it’s best to ensure that goals are realistic and employees aren’t left twiddling their thumbs. Encouraging staff members to work on pet projects or new ideas could prove fruitful when they are not able to complete other assigned tasks. Not only does it ensure they’re still being productive, but it could also lead to business improvements through creative idea generation. The most important thing is to make sure priorities and deadlines are realistic and that you use clear communications to outline expectations and any obstacles that may stand in the way.
Has your workplace been feeling the impact of the warmer weather? If you’d like help saving energy and cutting your energy costs, get in touch with one of our trained energy consultants for a free no-obligation chat. Call us now on 0800 254 5054.