With summer fast approaching, employees – and employers – will have more scheduling challenges than usual.
Vacations, summertime child care concerns, and the desire to take advantage of nice weather with an afternoon (or day) off all contribute to employees missing more work in the summer months.
How you respond to these matters will of course be heavily dependent on the nature of your business, but consider making allowances when you can.
Working with employees to create a schedule that will allow the necessary work to get done, while recognizing that they have obligations and interests outside of work, will help employees feel valued as individuals.
Employees who feel appreciated often create a happier, healthier, and more productive workforce overall.
Below you’ll find a few offerings you might consider to help your team adjust to the scheduling changes that commonly arise during the summer months.
Summer typically brings up a lot of questions for employers. Check out our blog here for more articles on popular topics like summer activities and picnics, hiring summer interns, summer dress codes, and managing vacation requests.
Conquering Summer Scheduling Challenges With Your Employees
Many jobs don’t allow for flexible work schedules.
However, if you’re able to let your employees modify their schedules ahead of time – or even at the last minute (when necessary for them and possible for you) – you’ll generally receive some benefit in return, like increased loyalty and willingness to go the extra step next time it’s needed.
With proper planning and execution, employees will still be able to get their work done. And, when time is set aside in advance for their outside activities and responsibilities, they’ll be able to better focus on the tasks at hand when they do sit down to work.
If the proper tools are available, telecommuting may enable an employee to get the day’s work done while out of the office.
This may be especially helpful when an employee has a child who needs the presence of an adult, but not their full attention, or when they’re riding along as a passenger on a long road trip.
If employees are able to get their work done remotely, they won’t have to take paid time off and you won’t have to suffer the loss of productivity.
Sometimes creative scheduling and telecommuting just won’t work for the employee or the employer.
In this case, you might look at reduced hours for a period of time, or even a personal leave of absence.
This is obviously more of a burden to employers than the other options, but if it’s what is necessary to keep an invaluable employee around long-term, it may be worth considering.
You may also want to think about temporary changes to certain workplace policies or practices that would make sense for the summer months.
For example, some employers have less business in the summer and choose to close the office early on Fridays during those months. Others will offer an extra day off around certain holidays, such as July 4th or Labor Day.
By proactively giving employees a little extra time off, you can choose days and times that are more convenient for the company and ideally minimize employee requests for days off here and there.
Other perks, such as relaxing the dress code to allow shorts or hosting a company picnic, don’t necessarily impact scheduling directly, but they can make employees feel valued. Bonus – employees who feel valued will be less tempted to fake an illness for an afternoon in the sun.
The Bottom Line
Work-life balance is hugely important to most employees, and it’s also a crucial component of lowering an employer’s rate of turnover.
In fact, work-life balance has frequently been outpolling money as the most important factor for employees, and these are the kinds of benefits most employees desire.
While you can’t take away the stressors in employees’ personal lives, and it’s not your job to plan their summer vacation, being understanding of their scheduling wants and needs will help set you both up for success.
If you’re interested in reading more about popular summer topics, check out our blog here for articles on summer activities and picnics, hiring summer interns, summer dress codes, and managing vacation requests.