The leaves are starting to fall, the morning temperatures dropping and the evenings getting a little bit darker. This can only mean one thing – summer is over and for many, the post-summer blues are beginning to set in. It is known that summer does have many bonuses for workers; they can make use of the light evenings, do a bit of sunbathing in their break and get out and about early in the morning without dying of hypothermia.
Therefore, it’s inevitable that moods may dip as we head into the winter months and as an employer, you should consider ways in which you can tackle post-summer blues in your workplace. After all, workers who are still caught up in their Lanzarote vacation from a few weeks ago aren’t going to be the most productive at dealing with everyday tasks back in rainy-cold England. Below we discuss how you can challenge these issues head on, to give your employees a new spice for autumnal office life.
Give staff time to get organised
To start with, it’s important to remember that adjusting back to the workplace after an amazing summer holiday isn’t going to be easy, so you want to make this transition as good and as smooth as it can be. This probably means that you need to not bombard staff with dozens of meetings as soon as they come back from their holiday. Instead, allow staff to set aside time to catch-up on their emails and to-do lists while their out-of-office notification is still on.
To further improve employee productivity and motivation, you might consider flexible working. Flexible working enables employees to be the most productive they can be; early birds may be ready to start work at 8am, but equally finish a bit earlier on. On the other hand, a night owl could be the opposite. You have to trust your workers to know when they are at top efficiency, especially if they’re battling with jet lag! This will work out best for you in the long run.
Refresh the work environment
An old, tired, work environment is not the ideal place for workers to feel productive. What’s more, if it’s unclean your employees will quickly feel uncomfortable and unwelcomed, not to mention the fact that people are more likely to get ill from a poor working environment, costing you more money and resources in the long run. So vamping up the office could provide many benefits for your staff, while also provoking interest in your office and increased productivity. You might do this by giving it a fresh paint and a deep clean, even replacing any old furniture if it’s outdated and you have some money to spare.
As the days get colder you also want to ensure the work environment is as comfortable as possible. After all, no one is going to be productive if they’re too cold to work. Ensure you have enough heating so that staff aren’t freezing cold at their desks, even if that means buying new heating equipment. What’s more, provide warm drinks such as hot chocolate and seasonal coffees as an added bonus.
Encourage staff to get out of the office on their lunch break
Dark evenings are on their way and for many workers this means travelling to and from work in the pitch-black. This is not ideal for those trapped inside all day, so it’s important they get outside and have some vitamin D where possible. A bit of sunlight will be able to lighten up the office mood so you need to use tactics to ensure that staff do step away from their desks on their lunch break.
You could try putting on a mini event outside for staff on their lunch break, this could be something as simple as offering up free hot chocolate outside on their breaks one day to motivate them to step away from their desks. Alternatively, you might be able to give them some vouchers and discounts for local cake stores or coffee shops so they have a reason to get out and about.
Give them things to look forward to
It’s likely that your staff will have looked forward to their exciting summer schedule, only for it to be over too quickly. This can bring employees down and make them feel disappointed, so it’s always worth giving them a new focus. Providing something new for your workers to look forward to is a nice way of motivating them and getting everyone involved in your company. You might choose to organise some events around the office such as competitions to give employees something to get involved with.
Events such as Halloween and bonfire night are coming up over the next few months and you could use these seasonal enjoyments to give your workers a bit of fun. Why not organise a Halloween themed day where you bring in sweets and hold a dress up competition – this is a great opportunity to have a laugh and uplift the mood. If Halloween isn’t your thing, you could designate a day to bring in treats into the office, for example a lunch buffet, pizzas or donuts. Workers will automatically feel more appreciated by you and respect you more. Finally, the Christmas party is likely to be a big event in your office, why not get everyone involved with the planning, it gives people something to talk about and think of ideas for.
To sum up, it’s inevitable that the summer blues are going to hit your business and you want to make this process as easy as possible to maintain productivity within your company. After all, there’s lots of things workers can be looking forward to in the upcoming months. At the end of the day, the autumn and winter months need to be just as productive as any other time, so give your workers a new lease of life and some reasons to get motivated and prepared for the colder months.