Are Sunny Days The Enemy of Employee Productivity?

A Harvard study from 2012 supports the argument that beautiful, sunny days do lead to lower productivity. However, it isn’t just the weather that causes a drop in employee productivity.

Summer is also the time when kids are out of school and available for family vacations. Children have to be watched, fed, and entertained while the parents are at work. While there are camps and family they can visit during this time, there will always be occasions when an adult must be available for them.

However, taking time off during the summer isn’t only about kids. Many times, people are taking time off simply because it’s summer. It’s beautiful outside, and who wants to be in the same old office when the weather is gorgeous out?

How To Maintain Employee Productivity During The Summer

So, what can you do keep productivity over the summer? Here are some steps you can take:

  • Offer work-from-home opportunities for the summer months, such as telecommuting or modified work days.

  • Let workers share workloads, so that while one worker has to take time off another can take up the workload with the commitment to offer the same service in the future.

  • Allow flexible scheduling for employees. If somebody can’t make it into the office in the morning, allow them to flex their hours to end later in the day.

One other thing, be open and discuss the situation with employees. Let them know there is a drop in productivity during the summer, and show how it is detrimental to the company. Then offer your solutions and be open to their solutions.

Be A PTO Supporter

The other thing is to encourage employees to take vacations. A study completed by Project Time Off revealed employees only use about half of the PTO available to them each year.

So, consider offering the summer as a time when people can go to professional conferences, professional development courses, or seminars. The idea is the employees will get out of the office for a short period of time, but they will also receive training that could be beneficial for the company.

Finally, to keep employees engaged and interested in work, consider hosting a couple of company days over the summer. It doesn’t have to be the stereotypical company picnic. You could do a movie night and rent a theater room, rent a trampoline hall, or host an outdoor team building exercise. The point is to let people out of the confines of their daily work life and enjoy the excellent weather.

Employee productivity doesn’t have to decline during the summer months, but it will if you don’t make an effort to keep your employees engaged. Employee productivity is only one of the many HR issues that Equal Parts Consulting works with on a regular basis.

If you are looking for innovative ways to increase employee productivity, we encourage you to contact us to further the discussion and learn how we can help your company.