21 June 2018

Summer at UKFast - on the beach
Summer is finally here! Not that the weather in Manchester shows it at the moment, but officially, summer starts today.

The summer solstice not only brings with it the start of summer and the longest day of the year, it also inevitably brings some business challenges.

Whilst summer is one of the happiest times of year, how does that marry with work-life balance? Sunshine, BBQs, holidays, children off school… the list of change is endless! Why would you want to sit behind a desk in a grey environment, when you could be outside enjoying the sun?

It’s all too easy for teams to become demotivated and frustrated with full-time work, especially after holidays when those holiday-blues kick in. So how do you keep energy up and make sure your team are happy?

Firstly, I’ve always been a champion of leaving the office on time. You’ll often see me chasing people out of the door to make sure they leave their desks at a reasonable hour. Ultimately, when people work beyond the usual working day, they quickly burn out. Instead, working the usual hours and enjoying their evenings and weekends, people are invariably happier and more productive. It makes perfect sense.
Work-life balance is absolutely essential starting point for any business.

The height of summer

Alongside this, it’s ultimately a business’ responsibility to bring that summer fun into the workplace. We spend a third of our time asleep, a third at leisure and a third in work. Why not make that third in work as enjoyable as it can be?

So how do you make summer fun for your team when they have to work full time? We’ve introduced a few things over the years to help maintain a good work-life balance for the team, and to bring a bit of summertime to the office. None so much as the beach.

Famously Ian Brown said that: “Manchester has everything except a beach.” We changed that! Each summer we create a beach in the carpark as an extra outdoor space for the team to enjoy the weather.
Sometimes that beach comes with a pool or ice-cream van, other times it’s an alternative meeting space or lunch venue. Whatever it’s used for, the energy is brings to the team is huge!

It doesn’t need to cost a fortune, buying ice lollies for the team or having a BBQ on a Friday afternoon is enough to bring a bit of summer into work. And, of course, it always goes down well when you lift the office wear so people can wear shorts.

Let me know how you bring summer to work in the comments below.

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