SummerHours[1]We have officially survived the worst winter on record and summer is finally here. Who among us isn’t ready for some well-earned fun in the sun? But for some employers, the rise in temperature can also be accompanied by increased concerns about employee focus and productivity. How can businesses continue to thrive when its employees want to spend less time in the office? There are a number of simple strategies that can support both the organizational goals and the needs of employees. And what’s more, a smart approach to summer can actually boost employee productivity and positively impact team performance, morale and overall retention. Following are some of the ways companies are achieving that balance:

Summer Hours

Many businesses, including Beehive PR, adjust office hours for the summer, working longer Monday through Thursday and leaving early on Fridays. While this practice has been somewhat common in the agency world, it is now becoming more common in corporate environments as well. Brands like Beehive client Christopher & Banks are seeing the benefits of providing this perk to their teams. Summer hours can give employees greater incentive to manage their time well and eliminate procrastination. In fact, a 2012 survey found that 66% were more productive.

Flexible Schedules

When summer hours aren’t feasible, many businesses will offer their employees additional flexibility options such as working remotely or on a modified schedule. Technology makes it easier than ever for employees to get their work done from the cabin or while on the road so that they can enjoy more of the summer. And numerous studies have shown that offering this type of workplace flexibility is a key benefit for attracting and keeping top talent.

Taking the Office Outside

The beautiful weather in the summer provides the perfect opportunity to deepen team connections and recharge the culture through office events that get folks out of the building and into the fresh air. Companies like Beehive client Deluxe Corporation schedule several activities such as an employee picnic and company 5K that are designed to get people outside, active and interacting in new ways. Events like these are a great way to show appreciation, fuel creativity and have fun as a team. No matter which approach to summer is right for your business, it will only be successful if:

  • Expectations are clearly shared so that business priorities are met
  • Teams communicate with each other so that no one is left without support
  • Customers/clients needs and related deadlines are met
  • Leaders model the desired behavior and set the right example

Summer goes by quickly (especially in our corner of the world), and we all want to take full advantage of it. Having strategies in place that allow us to do that while still meeting our job responsibilities is good for employees and good for business. Smart summer schedules as part of an overall healthy work-life balance keeps employees and teams fresh, engaged and at the top of their games. And that means strong productivity, enhanced creativity, high retention rates and best-in-class teams for the business.