While possibly more noticeable in four season cities, summer longings can defy geographical zones to the same extent that Congress generally seems to flout basic math.
Although the era of school holidays ended long before the student loan payments ever did, nostalgia reigns when the weather warms in early June. There’s a mental countdown to the long-gone summer breaks of our youth. And come August, the realization that Fall is but a few weekends away can heighten awareness of missed and fleeting opportunities to enjoy valuable outdoor time. Which means ss daylight hours shorten, so often does an employee’s tolerance for working long and late in a climate controlled office building.
So in this era of Casual Fridays and generous flex time options, what else can or should you do to engage your staff when summer beckons with a better menu and music mix? How do you compete for essential focus within a refrigerated office space that only accentuates the seasonal gap by requiring massive sweater usage?
Face it, summer is a tough competitor. In a baseball game, you wouldn't even get your last at-bat. The only real negatives are mosquito bites and sunburns, and most of your sales force would deem that an endurable sacrifice in exchange for an afternoon on the golf course.
So instead of fighting it, work with it. Summer, that is. Help your employees to get a bigger taste of it before the back-to-school sales hit the bargain bin, or alternately, try to bring a little summer into the office. Good will is a great motivator. By accommodating a very human need you may get super-human results in terms of productivity.
Here are a few ideas on how to work with Summer.
Don’t fight Summer. It comes but once a year and is the perfect party guest, fostering a sense of camaraderie but lingering far too briefly for most people. Instead, funnel the workplace focus toward greater efficiency with the goal of enhancing everyone’s summer experience. Utilize natural light and outdoor venues when practical. If possible, rotate prime window spots by desk swapping in the office. Help your staff get out of the office more and they will be more motivated when they return.
And if you can keep that more efficient get-it-done-so-we-can-get-out focus alive in October, you will find that working with Summer may extend your office momentum in ways that will benefit your fourth quarter goals as well.