After weeks of sunshine and Mediterranean temperatures, school is finally out and it’s time to enjoy the summer – for the kids at least!
The problem is that summer holidays pose many problems for working parents and even non-parents. From juggling childcare through to people not being in the office, productivity inevitably slows over the holiday period. We look at how you can design your office – or simply adapt your office - so that you can maintain productivity, whilst still ensuring a work-life balance.
Working from home often becomes a necessity for working parents during the summer holidays. Whilst many people can maintain productivity from home, it does become more challenging when you need to collaborate with others – both for the home and office workers. If you don’t use video calling already, you can easily create a video facility in your office and at home, using your built in webcam and Skype. Or you could even just use your mobile or tablet.
Your meeting spaces and workspaces are likely to get a lot less traffic in the summer holidays, so why not create a dedicated space for people to bring their kids? Get some music and cushions for lounging on. A display screen could be connected for computer games or a film. Even a simple table for colouring or crafts is an easy solution. Welcoming children (or at least the well behaved ones!) into the office gives people an alternative to working from home or taking annual leave and saves them money on the cost of countless camps and activities over the holidays.
For those in the office, you can keep them energised with cold drinks, fruit or even a stash of ice lollies for those hot summer afternoons! If you have an outside space, make sure that staff feel comfortable using the area as a working, meeting or break space.
If having less people means there are less opportunities for collaboration, why not try and bring the people who are in the office together? If your office is divided into different teams or departments, try bringing different teams together to share ideas and maintain the office banter. Plus, you might meet a few fresh faces you haven’t spoken with before.
The quiet of the office can feel a bit demoralising for those left behind. Maintain the buzz of the office with social events or wellbeing initiatives to keep people feeling motivated in both body and mind! Lunchtime yoga or afterwork rounders in the park gives everyone an opportunity to enjoy the summer even if they have to work.
Whilst a lack of people and collaboration during the summer months can make you feel less productive, this is actually the perfect time to plan for the months ahead. Don’t worry about what you can’t do – focus on what you can do. This ensures that your productivity can soar come September when everyone is back in the office.