The days are getting longer, and the temperature is finally on the rise. Chat in the office has probably started to turn to bikini diets and discount airlines. The pavements are packed full with joggers and cyclists. There’s no denying that summer is very firmly on the horizon. But have you thought about what that means for your business?
How we all know this, but as always, a little preparation can go a long way. So this week we’re going to talk you through some of the considerations that you need to make to ensure that your business is fighting fit to contend with the up and coming summer challenges.
Are you keeping spirits high?
The summer can be a bit of an unsettling time for employees, and there are often many factors at play that can present unique issues. Team members are taking time off, sunny beer gardens seem much more appealing than the office, sporting events are scheduled for right in the middle of the working day. The list goes on and on.
So it’s easy to see why motivation and engagement can sometimes be sorely lacking over the warmer months. Instead of trying to firefight problems once they arise, be PROACTIVE and consider what you can do to raise spirits. Organise an outdoor picnic during the lunch hour, treat your staff to an ice cream, or organise to have the biggest sporting events streamed into the workplace. Small gestures can often go a long way.
How will you handle a heat wave?
Okay, so this might be wishful thinking (but you never know). But every now and again, the weather throws a pleasant surprise our way. Do you know what’s expected of you when it comes to managing the working environment when the temperatures soar? At the other end of the scale, workplace temperatures shouldn’t drop below 16 degrees Celsius. Interesting, there’s no upper guideline, which is partly because some industries require warmer conditions just to get the job done.
When there’s no legislation to refer to, use a bit of simple common sense. Is the office getting hot and stuffy? Is it uncomfortable for your staff? If so, think about making some adjustments. Fans can make a good quick fix, and you should always ensure that fresh cold water is available for drinking.
Do employees know the dress code?
It may be reasonable for you to adopt a more relaxed dress code during the summer months. However, the extent to which your employees may be allowed to dress down when the temperature rises, will in part depend on the role they carry they out.
In the case of customer-facing roles, certain standards may need to be maintained. Equally, for health and safety reasons, it may be necessary for employees to continue to wear protective clothing irrespective of the summer heat.
One way or the other, you need to make sure your dress code is reasonable, appropriate to the needs of your business and does not discriminate against particular groups of employees.
Have you mapped out staffing requirements?
More often than not, the summer months pose challenges in terms of making sure that you effectively manage the annual leave rota so work still gets done. The starting point here must involve working out what you need. How will you ensure the phones are answered, and queries are dealt with in a timely manner? How many team members need to be present at any given time? Go back to basics.
Don’t forget to think about how you can use this period to create opportunities. Members of staff who are eager to progress may be keen to step up and contribute to ongoing projects whilst their colleagues are away, or take on a more diverse range of responsibilities to assist with their professional development.