Your Productivity Decreases By A Fifth In Summer: How To Avoid The Summer Slump
Summer has well and truly arrived.
Humid, hot and occasionally sunny, the summer months are in full-swing. In addition to the barbecues, the longer evenings and increased levels of ice cream consumption, summer can bring a burden for employers as they wonder, “Are my employees less productive in the summer?”
A 2012 study of 600 white-collar workers in America by Captivate Network has revealed that you can expect productivity to drop by 20% in the summer months. Is this just because we’re slowed down by the heat and daydreaming about spending days in the sunshine? Is there more that you can do to help alleviate the lull in productivity at your office?
Many employers put summer hours in place in an attempt to engage employees during the summer months. 4% of companies reported that they allow employees to leave early on Fridays and close up shop.
The ideology behind Summer Fridays is that they will help boost employee engagement. ‘If we close early,’ you might think, ‘everyone goes home happy, morale-boosted and feeling positive about work on Monday.’ HR managers have even argued that actually Summer Fridays are great for business because employees work hard to get more done in less time at the end of the week.
Unfortunately, this may actually lead to a significant decrease in productivity. The same study showed that 80% of employees admitted to decreased productivity levels when the companies they work for close early on Fridays.
This might come as unwelcome news to employers and staff members alike. While the logic behind Summer Fridays might seem to point to increased productivity, it would appear this is not the case.
Those employers who permit telecommuting, on the other hand, see a much better response from employees. Less than half of employees who were permitted to telecommute reported a decrease in productivity.
This is possibly because the ability to choose how and when you work enables workers to select their best times. If you’re more of a morning person, for example, you could start work two hours earlier than normal and finish two hours later. The freedom to choose your most productive times will increase your overall productivity and gives you more choice about when you need to focus.
Since June 30th, every employee in all organisations now has the right to request flexible working hours. According to the FSB, three-quarters of small businesses already allow their teams to work flexibly. If it works for you, telecommuting is a great way to motivate your team throughout the summer months and improve productivity.