Who doesn’t love the summer months? The days are warmer, brighter and longer, giving people ample opportunity to jet away to a sunny location or get outside and do something fun with their loved ones. Unfortunately, though, this isn’t the case for everyone. For those that don’t have any holidays booked and are required to work through the summer, it can be a demotivating time, with concentration and productivity levels dropping.
The happiness of your staff is the foundation of any successful business, and the proof of this is in the statistics. According to a study from 2015, happy employees are 20% more productive than those that feel they are unhappy. Other research has also found that happiness can raise accuracy when working by 19%, and sales by a total of 37%. However, with one in four people being affected by mental health issues (such as depression) at some point in their lives, the importance of keeping your workers happy extends beyond the benefits it can bring to your business.
Here are just some of the ways you can keep yourself and your staff motivated in the summer months.
Everyone wants to be recognised for doing a good job and putting in the effort. As a matter of fact, a global 10-year study discovered that 79% of employees left a job due to a lack of appreciation. 65% of North Americans also reported that they weren’t recognized once in the past year.
Sometimes, a simple thank you is all it takes to make workers feel appreciated, and it’s something that is very easy to forget to do when you’re busy running a business. To keep productivity levels at a high, you should go one step further by setting up a recognition box for employees to nominate co-workers. These can then be rewarded with the likes of cash bonuses, vouchers and extra days of annual leave.
Gone are the days when you would have to have your whole team working from the office. With more and more businesses moving their documents, programs and basic operations online, offering flexible and remote working is becoming easier than ever. Though they are popular perks with the majority of workers, they are especially useful for parents who need to look after their children while they are off school for the summer holidays. If they work from home, they can avoid paying extra for a babysitter.
Emily Jaksch, Director at HR Gurus, definitely agrees that remote working is something that should be offered to employees. She says: "A 2016 study conducted by Staples Advantage found that 69% of employees indicated that they would not be happy if they did not have telecommuting and flexible time as a perk. So, I am a passionate advocate of workplace flexibility and remote workers. This is a benefit I offer all my employees who are made up of mums, but I also have many Millennials working for me. They are very motivated by workplace flexibility, so this is a must have to keep younger employees happy."
By utilising cloud technology, your workers can access everything they need to work from any location by just being connected to the internet. Choosing a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phone system for your business can also aid in remote working as it will enable people to make and receive calls over the internet. Just plug in your phone, and you’re ready to start making calls!
Encouraging your employees to spend more time together outside of the workplace will help them to build friendships and be more comfortable approaching each other if and when they need something. This doesn’t just increase their happiness levels, but will improve their and ability to work together on various tasks and projects when they’re back in the office.
Planning fun team building activities away from the more corporate setting of the workplace will make everyone feel more relaxed, open and willing to converse. Summer’s warmer temperatures and longer days also make it the perfect time to plan outdoors activities both inside and outside of working hours. Some ideas of what your team can do include hikes, sporting matches, go karting, obstacle courses or even a meal and drinks in the sunshine.
Nothing slows down productivity levels like a slow or unreliable internet connection. Though changing or upgrading your current internet service or provider can cause a degree of disruption at any time of the year, doing so in the summer can keep this to a minimum by planning for it to be done when staff are out of the office on a team building day or a number of them are on holiday.
There are a number of high speed internet connectivity options to choose from, including MPLS, Fiber, Ethernet and Broadband. You can easily find the best option for your business by comparing each type with TelcoCompare.
Stewart Marshall, bestselling author of Doing IT for Money - A business leader's guide to improving profit per person, adds: "Business leaders need to remember that most people have pretty good tech at home today. If they come to work and they're given tools that are worse, they're guaranteed to be demoralised. The tools given to the team make an enormous difference to morale, particularly when it comes to software. No one in the team wants to spend their day working with old green and black systems that are comparatively dysfunctional, and the younger the user, the more likely they are to want the latest and greatest tools."