Summer is here, offering an exciting opportunity for your HR team to create a summer-friendly work culture at your organization. That means offering employees a chance to refresh and restore themselves while still ensuring productivity. And that time off and flexibility is even more important after the stress of the last two years.
You can create a summer culture that reduces burnout and increases retention without hurting productivity and profits – here are the five things to consider implementing.
1. Offer Flexible and Productive Work Arrangements
The rise of remote work has made flexible arrangements a must in most workplaces. Employees increasingly want to work where and how they’re most productive, so part of your summer-friendly work culture should include enabling them to do just that.
If you’re in a hybrid work environment, that can look like allowing employees to work an extra day or two from home each week. You can also experiment with flexible scheduling, like compressed schedules or having Friday afternoons off.
While this might seem like it would negatively affect productivity, employees can be more motivated and productive when they have flexible options. They get more time to enjoy summer, and your organization still gets strong results.
2. Encourage Taking True Time Off
Giving employees time off to truly disconnect from work and relax offers benefits to everyone – including your organization. So it’s in your HR team’s interest to encourage employees to take their time off this summer.
And to be maximally beneficial, your work culture should discourage managers and colleagues from reaching out to employees when they’re taking their hard-earned time off too.
3. Support Parents and Caregivers
Summer can be a fun but challenging time for caregivers, particularly parents. With kids out of school, they might need extra flexibility to work around gaps in summer childcare or camps. Making a real effort to support them can make a difference in retention.
HR leaders should encourage managers to check in with employees who are caregivers to see what they’re juggling and explore potential solutions. That could mean giving employees additional schedule flexibility to help them manage all of their responsibilities inside and outside of work.
4. Experiment With Different Work Locations
Airbnb made headlines earlier this year when they announced they would allow employees to work from wherever they pleased – even around the globe. Many employees would like the option to work from a different location for a month or longer, whether it’s to spend more time with distant family or explore a different city.
Of course, there are tax implications to consider for your organization that may inform the policy limits. Even Airbnb doesn’t allow employees to work more than 90 days at a time in a single place.
But letting employees work from different locations, as long as their productivity stays high, can boost morale and even improve retention. It’s a work culture perk that can help you stand out from other employers in your industry.
5. Ask Employees What They Want Most
The best way to determine exactly what your summer-friendly work culture should look like? Ask your employees directly! There’s no one-size-fits-all solution here – your employees are unique and so are their needs and preferences.
Conducting an employee feedback survey can help you discover the perks and flexibility your employees want most so you can align your offerings. After all, if you offer the flexibility to work from any country but your employees are mostly parents of young children struggling to juggle camp pickups and meetings, you won’t see the benefits of that flexible option. Ask them what they value, and work to deliver it – everyone will benefit.
Summer Work Culture Takeaways
Every organization’s summer-friendly arrangements will look a little different – but it’s a great opportunity for every HR team to improve the work culture at your company for employees.
This post was originally published on the Cangrade blog.