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How to keep staff engaged during the warm summer months

With summer 2019 but a few weeks away, it’s about time you made sure you’re stocked up on those all-important office summer essentials. Failing to do so could result in a significant lapse in productivity new research suggests.

We recommend:

  1. Fans and desk fans to keep staff cool
  2. Plenty of water and cold drinks to stay hydrated
  3. Outdoor office furniture
  4. Technology, supplies and work settings to boost employee engagement

Let’s explore these in a little more detail…

Address the temperature of the workplace

Aircon wars are an extremely common issue in workplaces of all shapes and sizes. Temperate control is a controversial topic which usually always ends up dissatisfying somebody. This can become particularly problematic during more extreme months such as winter and summer when temperatures are either super low or super high.

One way to solve the problem during the summer months is by supplying each department or work setting with its own fan to help keep both tempers and temperatures cool. You could also consider personal fans or a clip-on desk fan for individual members of staff who are particularly uncomfortable in the heat.

Shop Penketh Group Supplies for our full selection of office fans.

Bright modern office with plants

Help keep hydration levels high

Encouraging staff to drink plenty of water is important all year round but particularly essential during the warmer months. Stock up on bottled water or if you want to make your office supplies more sustainable, install a water cooler machine with some recyclable paper cups.

Better still, think about gifting each employee with their own branded reusable water bottle to incentivise healthy summer habits.

Invest in some outdoor commercial furniture

If you’re a workplace in the UK where it rains for most of the year, the cost of outdoor office furniture might not be justifiable. However, if you do have some spare cash to spend, this would be a great use of your remaining budget.

Creating a work setting outside will encourage staff to get outdoors, get some fresh air and cool down when temperatures are too high indoors.

Workplace productivity drops by 20% during the summer months

This figure is according to a recent body of research carried out by digital media company, Captivate Network. The study also revealed that:

  • It takes 13% longer to complete projects during summer
  • Workers are 45% more distracted during this season than any others

So, what can be done to improve engagement and output over the summer months?

Here’s our advice:

Helping staff concentrate during summer more

Stationery and business supplies – In order for staff to be fully focused on their work, they need access to all of the necessary resources. This includes supplies and stationery, from paper and notepads right through to things like pens, files, envelopes and whiteboards.

Using office technology

Dedicated private work settings – Provide somewhere cool, calm and quiet where a member of staff can go for privacy, concentration and individual focus. This may be a small private office or a semi-shielded pod away from high-footfall areas.

Office acoustic solutions and space division – Block out at least some audio and visual distractions by introducing acoustically-enhanced products (wall panels, seats, cushions etc) and adaptable space division such as temporary screens or partitions.

Purpose-built rejuvenation spaces – If staff are finding it hard to concentrate due to heat or distraction, they may need to take more regular breaks from the desk in order to maintain engagement levels. An assigned rejuvenation space built for relaxation and downtime is an effective way to make regular breaks productive.

Click for further reading on the different styles of workplace rejuvenation, from The Lone Wolf to The Social Butterfly.

Improving time management when productivity is low

Adequate places to meet and collaborate – According to Steelcase research, 11% of lost time is spent looking for a place to meet. So, when productivity is low and processes are taking more time during the summer, it’s more important than ever that staff have well-designed meeting rooms and collaboration spaces to work in.

Technology to help streamline processes – The average time lost spend trying to connect to meeting room technology is 5-10 minutes. Improve this functionality but keeping your office technology up to date and taking advantage of things like video conferencing, digital signage and multi-user collaboration tools.

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