When Motivation Takes a Vacation

Studies show that productivity drops by 20 percent in the summer. It’s just like deep down inside we think school is over and we should be on vacation.

But none of us wants our business – and our income – to take that seasonal dip. How can you make the summer months productive? Here are some ideas about what to do to rethink business as usual once the calendar turns to June.

1. Adjust your environment. Everybody knows temperature and humidity play a significant role in human performance. Studies recommend setting the thermostat at 71.6⁰ F for optimum productivity. OSHA says productivity declines with temps over 76⁰ F and human error becomes more acute when the thermostat slips below 68⁰ F.

OSHA also recommends keeping humidity between 20 and 60 percent.

2. Build into yourself, your staff and your clients. Summer is a perfect time to build office camaraderie, which improves morale and productivity.

Plan some events, even if you’re an office of one. You might create an annual “holiday” when you eat lunch with an associate or customer at a specific restaurant. It’s more fun when you’re celebrating an annual event, so give it a name and plan ahead so anticipation builds.

One office has an annual lunch in the parking lot with one of the owners manning the grill. Everybody picnics from 11:30 to 2:30. It’s a great time for team-building. If you are an office of one, grill for your clients or slice a watermelon. Make it simple.

Or spend half a day working poolside or in some cool indoor environment that is away from you place of business. A new location clears the head.

Don’t discount the value of the good will you will build with employees and clients by having a summer event. It will bind people together and pay off in decreased stress and enhanced productivity and relationships.

3. Give yourself transition time. When you return from vacation, you need to ease into your work routine. Don’t try to just flip a switch and put all that wonderful relaxation behind you. Instead, schedule time to review your workload, plan what your priorities are and then dive in. The idea is to retain all the good the vacation did you.

The same thing goes for your employees

View the summer months with a practical eye. You and your company can reap benefits from what you do – or don’t do – during the three months leading up to fall.


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