Summer Slump Syndrome: The struggle is real.
Overcome this employee productivity killer and keep your workforce on task and focused throughout the summer.
We’ve all seen it. Summer Slump Syndrome (SSS) is a seasonal condition that affects thousands and thousands of employees from roughly the end of May through the end of August each year. It’s when workplace productivity dips as temperatures and leisure activities rise in the summer. The condition can be painful for business owners and managers and can be contagious. Has your workforce experienced an outbreak?
- Sluggishness through daily tasks
- Daydreaming, often accompanied by slight-to-moderate moping
- Sighing unconsciously into computer monitors at beach-themed screensavers
- Lingering extra-long in sunny doorways and windows
- Over-zealous consumption of iced coffee beverages with tropical themes
- Fading motivation
If you team members exhibit two or more of the above mentioned symptoms, your workplace may be dealing with an outbreak of SSS.
Do. Not. Panic.
We can help.
Why is this happening?
Understanding why this seasonal motivational drain is occurring can go a long way in preserving the productivity of your workforce during the summer. Just last year, myHR Partner’s Tina Hamilton was tapped by Fast Company as an expert to discuss summer slump (something we had previously referred to as summer “slacking”). She explained the phenomenon this way:
When the sun is shining and the temperatures rise, the last place many of us want to be is inside an office working. That’s why productivity drops and absenteeism rises during summer months, according to a recent. Tina Hamilton, president of the human resources outsourcing firm calls it “summer slacker syndrome.”
“It doesn’t matter if a company is in its busy or slow time, employees are going on vacation or doing vacation-type things during the weekend,” she says, adding that it can be especially challenging for those in the North or Midwest, where summer is a short 12-week window. “It’s hard to come back and get into a fast-paced environment.”
Instead of fighting the season, Hamilton says it’s better to embrace it. “You can’t change people’s feelings and emotions about wanting to be outside in summer,” she says. “It’s better to go with it, and do what you can to expose them to a little bit of summer fun. It can help them focus when it’s time to work.”
With No Vaccine Currently on the Market for this Affliction, What’s the Remedy?
Employers can help combat summer slump by creating positive energy in the workplace. Some ideas to achieve this include:
- Give employees an opportunity to get excited about coming to work, even when the nice weather is beckoning. This might mean offering a change up to the regular office routine that they can look forward to.
- Use this time to set goals for the remainder of the year, which gives everyone something to work towards.
- Offer, if you can, flexible schedules or telecommuting options. This can especially help working parents.
- Encourage employees to attend professional development workshops and seminars during the summer, when things might be slower in the workplace.
Summer, fall, winter or spring, if HR issues have you stumped, we can help!
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