Workers surveyed by staffing firm OfficeTeam said they're most interested in flexible schedules (39 percent) and the ability to leave early on Fridays (30 percent). But companies have cooled off on providing these benefits. Sixty-two percent of human resources (HR) managers reported their organization offers flexible schedules at this time of year, down from 75 percent in a 2012
survey. About three in 10 employers (29 percent) relax their dress codes in the summer months, compared to 57 percent five years ago. Companies with shorter hours on Fridays also fell to 20 percent, a 43-point decline from 2012.
While more than one-third of HR managers (34 percent) feel workers are less productive during the summer months, another 34 percent said there's no change in on-the-job performance. Where negative employee behaviors occur during the summer months, they most often involve a failure to plan well for vacations (32 percent), unexpected absences (22 percent), dressing too casually (19 percent), sneaking in late or leaving early (15 percent), and being mentally checked out (12 percent).
"It's natural for employees to get distracted when the weather's nice and thoughts turn to plans outside the office. But savvy companies maintain staff productivity and morale by embracing summer in the workplace," said Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam.
OfficeTeam offers managers five tips to help staff make the most of summer at work:
Perk up. Give employees more control over how they spend their time by offering flexible schedules and occasionally letting them leave early on Fridays. Just make sure policies are clear so business can continue as usual.
Rally for rest. Remind workers to take time off, and set an example by doing so yourself.
Venture out. Holding meetings outdoors or while taking a walk is a great way to get fresh air while accomplishing business objectives.
Have some fun. Plan an ice cream break, picnic or group outing. Employees will appreciate being able to relax and bond with colleagues in a non-work setting.
Dress down. Allow staff who aren't customer- or client-facing to wear more casual attire, as long as it doesn't detract from work.