May 25, 2021

Avoiding the Summer Slump

It’s that time of year, folks. The summer blues. The June Gloom. The Dog Days of August. Pick your favorite moniker.

Whether personally or on your team: productivity is about to dip.

People have not taken a vacation in over a year and everybody’s about to do so at the same time. There has been a ton of chatter about “The Great Resignation” that is coming, and I wonder what your company is doing to prepare for or prevent that.

It’s nice out, the world is discovering its “new normal” amidst COVID, the skies are blue, boats are getting revved up, and people want to get out and away from their desks.

It comes in with a vengeance and is fully in your control to make sure you don’t get sucked in too far.

But how do you go about doing that?

Tip number one: lean into it. Accept that it’s going to be harder to stay focused and productive at work when you’re staring out the window beyond your desk looking at how nice it is outside and how much tequila you can  drink outside in the backyard while the sun is shining.

Find time to get outside throughout your day and enjoy the sun or else you’ll just feel like a prisoner to your office. Allow yourself to take the dogs for a walk or take calls away from Zoom.

The more you lean into, the better you’ll feel mentally and physically while recharging enough to maintain your focus at work.

Tip number two: figure out what works for you. Are you more productive in the morning? In the afternoon? Do you like to wake up and get outside immediately or jump right into work while listening to music?

Whatever it may be — find out how you operate and don’t pressure yourself to work the way that doesn’t work for you. Accept that your focus will wane and spike.

With remote culture it’s never been easier to find your work rhythm but simultaneously has made it harder to escape. Don’t fall into that; your mental health comes before anything else.

Tip number three: if you’re managing a team and dealing with the summer blues it’s also on you to encourage people to step away.

Show your employees that you understand what they’re experiencing and switch it up. Some companies adopt ‘Summer Fridays’ or carve Friday out for zero meetings.

Flockblog wrote about no-meeting days allowing employees to achieve states of true ‘flow’ in their workday. With meetings taking up an average of 30%-55% of their time, the more people feel unproductive and bogged down during their day, the more they’ll retreat to needing more freedom.

If you combat that proactively by giving time back in their week to partake in less meetings and also step away from their computer more, the better off employee happiness and work fulfillment will be.

If you’re concerned about sales plummeting along with your team’s productivity, just remember to muscle through. Harvard Business Review wrote an article several years ago linking freedom in the workplace to a 10% or higher increase in revenue so imagine what this could look like in the current climate of COVID and working remotely? Push your employees to take time for themselves away from their desks and watch summer blues dissipate.

Forecast accordingly to make up for the lack of sales during the summer months so that your team doesn’t feel your fear or anxiety in the hardest season for productivity as well.

The summer slump shall pass — now, go get yourself a tequila.

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