A recent survey taken in Newcastle found that two-thirds of 18-34 year olds thought they would be perceived as ‘not working hard enough’ by management for leaving the office early. During the summer this type of workplace culture can lead to a rise in unmotivated employees, especially when it seems like everybody else is outside enjoying the sunny weather.
Creating a cohesive working environment is important all year round, although it pays to be a little more tactful during the summer. From allowing flexible working hours to hosting a summer party, here are five engagement ideas to encourage your employees to give their best each day and commit to your organisation’s values and goals.
Allow flexible working
Have you thought about offering your workforce a more flexible way of working? Let’s say the weather forecast suggests there’s an upcoming heatwave. Instead of the usual 9 to 5 hours, you could allow earlier starting and finishing times, so that individuals can leave earlier if they wish, joining the rest of Britain in the park or beer garden.
Take meetings outside
Rather than holding regular meetings in the usual location, such as a warm and stuffy meeting room, you could consider moving to a nearby park or quiet patch of grass. Perhaps your workplace has outdoor seating areas, which you could choose to make use of. Either way, there will be an immediate uplift in morale as the team chats on the way to their el fresco gathering.
This idea might not be suitable for external meetings (it depends on existing relationships with customers or clients), but it is certainly something to try for internal meetings as spring eases gracefully into summer.
Hold a summer social event
Most UK organisations hold an office Christmas party, but have you considered hosting a summer party too? Make the most of the warmer weather by hosting an outdoor gathering, perhaps at a nearby bar with a large enough outside area where you can arrange fun activities — whether that’s traditional village fête games or you set up table tennis, croquet or even an inflatable assault course.
If the above seems like too much physical exertion, a catered barbecue with vegan and vegetarian options all served with ice cold drinks will give everybody a chance to let their hair down. By their nature summer parties are more casual than those held in winter, so kept it relaxed and well organised so that the guest have to worry about one thing — enjoying themselves.
Don’t forget the ice cream
Buying everyone ice creams or lollies is an easy way to keep the team onside during summer. You might choose to take the treats straight to their desks, whilst you could send a staff email around explaining there are ice creams waiting outside in the sunshine. Why not go one step further and arrange and pay for a traditional ice cream van to park outside the main entrance?
Guaranteed to lift spirits on a warm afternoon, however you choose to arrange an ice cream break, you’ll be bringing a little bit of summer into the office and will put a smile on everyone’s faces.
Summer doesn’t have to be a challenge. There are plenty of simple ways to boost motivation, so be flexible and look after your employees whilst still working towards the organisation’s goals.