15 July 2016

The summer months are my favourite time of year, but in business they can be a tricky time of the year too.

UKFast team

Some of the UKFast team during Beach Week 2015.

According to studies workplace productivity drops by a huge percentage during the hotter months. With team members wanting to take holidays at the same time and the sunshine (when it appears!) providing a distraction to those working behind a desk all day; how can you make sure your business doesn’t come to a halt?

For people to be their most productive, you have to create the right environment. Living in Manchester, I understand that sunny days are far and in between, and I wouldn’t want my team to miss out on an opportunity to enjoy the sunshine and get some much needed vitamin D.

The last thing I want is for people to get frustrated behind their desks or, worse, call in sick. If you ask me – or any other member of the UKFast team – sunny days really are the best days to be in the office!

Going against the ‘summertime blues’ is something that is actually quite easy to do and it doesn’t have to break the bank. It’s all about creating a fun environment that makes the working day seem a lot less of an effort – it could be as simple as buying some ice creams for the team.

For the second year, we’ve created a beach in the office car park, which is great not just for lunch, but for meetings and after-work socialising too. We schedule plenty of team events during the summer and we make sure to include the extended UKFast family – inviting partners and kids to come and hang out. For me, the summer months are a time to spend with my wife and kids, who are off school. It makes sense to expect that my team will want to do the same.

A few years ago, I started another tradition of organising a festival at the end of summer, where the whole team goes camping together. It gives everyone something to look forward to, even if they aren’t planning on going away on holiday.

Nicer weather and longer days also mean that there are more opportunities in the day to use the outdoors for a bit of exercise. In our offices, we have an on-site gym, but we also organise clubs like running and boot camp in fair weather (or not so fair weather). Doing more exercise is a great way to deal with stress which, particularly when a large percentage of a team is away on holiday, can hinder productivity among those who are left to run the office.

What do you do to keep your team motivated when the sun is out?

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