Long gone are the days where remote work was just a perk enjoyed by just a few. These days, it’s a necessity. Especially during the summer holidays, it’s easy to see how valuable remote work can be for both employees and employers. Despite this fact, managing remote work during the summer holidays can, at times, be a bit of a challenge. Maintaining focus when the kids are off school and employees’ work is mixed with sunny weather and the pull of summer picnics can be difficult. In this article, we’ll look at ways to facilitate more remote working during the school summer holidays without seeing a drop in productivity.
Set clear expectations and deadlines
While it might be tempting to just kick back and relax with a cold drink, it’s important that staff remember that work still needs to get done. A plan that outlines what is expected, the deadlines, and the available resources is crucial to keep everyone on track and motivated. For more information on holiday policies, click here.
Offer flexible hours
During the school holidays, children under the age of 10 need attention and support and so it’s likely employees with children of this age won’t be able to stick to their usual working hours. By offering flexibility to their schedule – say by allowing hours to be made up in the evenings or weekends, or by compressing work into fewer days – will take the pressure off and ensure targets are still met.
Make summer schedules
On that note, it’s a good idea to make new schedules that take into consideration your employees’ vacation plans as well as new working patterns. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows when people are working.
Switch to goal-oriented results
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks and forget the bigger picture, but by setting clear goals and expectations for your team, you can give them a sense of direction and purpose. Instead of just treading water, your employees will feel motivated and inspired to work towards something meaningful. So whether it’s quarterly targets, project milestones, or individual growth plans, make sure you communicate these goals effectively and track progress along the way.
Encourage them to take advantage of technology
Having a remote working policy isn’t enough if you’re not using the right technology to support it. Make sure that all your staff have the necessary hardware and software. This might mean issuing company-owned laptops and cell phones to everyone or installing cloud-based backup systems to facilitate remote access. Encourage the use of group collaboration tools for better workflow management such as Google docs, Trello, Slack, and Asana etc.
Additionally, there’s no need for your employees with kids to be chained to their desks during the school holidays just because they’re working. If possible, encourage them to take advantage of technology and work from wherever they happen to be – whether that’s at the park, at the beach, or even at their child’s football game.
Encourage breaks for playtime
If parents are trying to work around the kids, encourage them to take breaks for playtime. Not only will this help them stay sane, but it will also give their kids some much-needed attention.
Set up a quiet room for conference calls and video meetings
If you have employees who need to participate in conference calls or video meetings, encourage them to set up a quiet room at home where they can go to focus.. This way, they won’t have to worry about their kids making noise in the background or interrupting the meeting. They just need to make sure that the room is well-equipped with everything they’ll need, such as a phone charger and a laptop stand.
Bring in some help
If you have the budget for it, bringing in some help during the school holidays can be a big help for parents who are struggling to balance work with childcare. This could take the form of additional admin support or students to cover smaller tasks, freeing up the time of your permanent employees.
Cancel all regular meetings
So much of the working day can be taken up by meetings so during the summer holidays, why not cancel a few? Switch up the weekly team meetings or monthly catch ups for email updates but make sure the meetings are reinstated in September.
It’s important to remember that not all parents will be able to be as productive as they normally are during the school holidays. There will inevitably be some days where things just don’t go as planned. Rather than getting frustrated, try to be understanding and give your employees the grace they need to get through these tough times.
Work can quickly become monotonous and tiresome, especially during the summer holidays where it’s hard to escape the allure of the bright sunshine and multitude of summer activities. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to show appreciation to remote workers. By taking time to recognise and appreciate the efforts your employees put into their work, you encourage them to remain productive.
Positive reinforcement could come in the form of an email, a message of congratulations, or a shout-out to great work done during a company meeting. Showing appreciation boosts employee motivation, which will lead to increased productivity during the summer months.
Alternatively, if you’d rather not encourage full remote working…
Provide on-site childcare
If you have the space and the budget, providing on-site childcare during the school holidays can be a huge help for your employees with kids. This can take the form of a creche or an activity camp for older children. This way, employees can focus on their work knowing that their children are being well taken care of just steps away. Plus, it’s a great perk that will help you attract and retain top talent.
Remote working has so many benefits, including increased productivity, flexibility, and greater autonomy for employees, among others. Embracing remote working during the summer holidays can go a long way in creating work-life balance, and it can be a game changer for your team during these months. By prioritising productivity and regularly communicating expectations, you can make sure that your team has the best summer break experience whilst also pushing forward and maintaining productivity.
For more support with getting the most from your workforce, get in touch with Lodge Court.