In the summer months, as temperatures climb to staggering heights, office productivity levels can dip to all-time lows. Work is often far from top of mind as employees plan their summer activities and opt to field emails and conference calls from home – or the pool.But small businesses can’t afford to put their operations on hold for months while employees trade in laptops and status calls for beach towels and sunscreen. Although employers should encourage their teams to make the most of their summer, it’s equally important to lay down ground rules so that deadlines and customer needs continue to be met. Staff shortages are more keenly felt in smaller teams and lead to an uneven distribution of work among those who stay behind.
No business wants to find itself in a position where half of its workforce is on vacation at the same time and managers are left to pick up the slack. With the right combination of communication guidelines and digital collaboration tools, small organizations can maintain business as usual without interrupting anyone’s summer plans.
Digital Connectivity and Communication Are the Keys to a Productive Summer
To maintain morale, plenty of employers offer summer half-day Friday’s and work from home hours as incentives for employees to finish their work before mentally (and physically) checking out. But shorter workdays and remote opportunities are only possible when businesses have the right protocol and tools in place.
Communication between employees and employers is crucial to maintaining productivity from June through August. Observing basic courtesies, like giving managers two weeks’ notice before leaving for vacation, ensures assignments are fairly delegated to colleagues and prevents project delays. Maintaining an open dialogue between teams can prevent unwarranted absences and reassure supervisors that work is getting done on time. To support a truly flexible working environment, organizations should also invest in unified communication solutions that boost employee connectivity from anywhere.
Before your employees set off to take advantage of the warm weather, consider these three tips to set your office up for a fun and productive summer season.
3 Ways SMBs Keep Communications & Productivity High During Summer Months
1. Over-communicate with Everyone
To avoid confusion and workflow disruptions, set ground rules like giving advanced notice before trips so managers can account for fluctuating employee availability. Once schedules are established, employees should let managers know the best way to contact them on vacation and make arrangements for coworkers to cover specific tasks or inbound requests while they’re out. This guarantees supervisors, employees and clients are on the same page about how and when work will be completed during the summer months.
2. Support Flexible Working
While most small businesses can’t give employees two months of summer vacation, providing flexible work options can make your team happier and more productive. Summer hours and work from home days not only contribute to a healthier work-life balance, they also serve as an extra incentive for employees to meet deadlines and complete assignments on time. Before offering remote work as a summer perk, make sure you have the collaboration tools available to support communication and work across teams from any location.
3. Adopt Robust Conferencing Tools
To balance staff work preferences and business needs, employers should make it easy for employees to connect with colleagues and access documents regardless of where they are. The right mobile-enabled unified communication tool lets employees continue to host meetings, view presentations and files, and collaborate on assignments right from their smartphone or tablet. Small business leaders should look for communication platforms with auto-record capabilities and secure meeting archives so employees can quickly get up to speed on any missed conversations when they return.
As the temperature rises, it can be difficult for small businesses to keep productivity from plummeting. But the right combination of workday flexibility and digital connectivity ensures companies get the most out of their employees despite the busy vacation season. By leveraging unified communication tools and encouraging a more autonomous workplace, small businesses can keep their teams engaged even during the dog days of summer.
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