For many organizations, summer means an office casual dress code, out-of-office vacation replies and perhaps even shortened normal work hours. This atmosphere may look like a drop in productivity, but focusing on relaxing during this season helps both employee and organizations in the long run. Here are ways that leaders can reinvest in their workforce through rejuvenation.
Encourage vacation time
Historically, the majority of North America employees don’t use all their allotted vacation time, whereas the situation may be different in Europe. Unfortunately, overcommitment is counterproductive. Taking vacation time is a vital part of preventing burnout, maintaining job satisfaction and inspiring and motivating an employee’s best work. Encourage employees to take their deserved time off.
Set out of office boundaries
Responding to emails through vacation – or even on nights and weekends – defeats the purpose of time off. Leaders should work to set communication expectations before summer vacations even begin by creating policies around after work and weekend emails. According to research by Right Management, two-thirds of employees reported that they receive emails from their bosses during the weekend and one in three said they are expected to reply. This might sent the message that it’s OK to infringe on personal time. Setting boundaries will ensure that employees can truly unplug with peace of mind on vacation, and come back more energized.
Offer conference trips
Summer is a time of travel – so why not add a conference to the itinerary? Organizations can offer trips to desirable destinations that also offer enrichment through conferences to keep skills sharp. If employees are looking for further professional development, they can arrange to be speakers at these events as well. Public speaking and networking at these events are a helpful way to stay on top of professional development.
Summer’s festivities are a good reminder that work-life balance is important for the longevity and vitality of any workforce. Ultimately, summer should be embraced by organizations and employees should be encouraged to take advantage – and everyone will benefit at the end of the day.