OK, everyone knows the pace in the office tends to slow a bit during the dog days of summer. People take vacation and almost everyone seems a little more easygoing. But you probably don’t want people this easygoing.
The folks at CareerBuilder.com (who else?) recently compiled a list of employee activities that aren’t exactly the types of things that normally lead to optimum productivity.
Wrestling, the proven morale-builder
Take a look at this checklist of employee chicanery and be happy these folks don’t work for you:
- A married employee was looking at a dating website and then denied it – even though the site was still up on his computer screen.
- One employee was caring for her pet bird that she had smuggled into the office.
- An employee was caught shaving her legs in the women’s restroom.
- A prankster employee was lying under boxes to scare people.
- Two staffers were having a wrestling match.
- One employee was sleeping, but claimed to be praying.
- The employee was taking selfies in the bathroom.
- This employee was changing clothes in a cubicle.
- One industrious employee was printing off a book from the Internet.
- Another employee was warming her bare feet under the bathroom hand dryer.
- And one from the winter: An employee was found blowing bubbles in sub-zero weather. He wanted to see if the bubbles would freeze and break.
OK. As we’ve said, summer’s usually a little more relaxed than other times of the year. But you don’t want to totally derail productivity just because the weather’s nice.
Keep things light and still productive
Here are a few strategies your managers can use to inject some lightheartedness into summers at the office while still getting the job done:
- Set some new goals. Goals you set at the start of the year may have either been met or lost momentum by this point. Mid-year is a great time to come up with a few new things to strive for as a department and individually.
- Try a contest. The department’s top performer might get to come in an hour late or leave an hour early to get a jump on Friday afternoon beach traffic. (Just make sure every staffer is eligible for whatever type of contest you set so no one feels slighted.)
- Bring summer inside. Bringing in ice cream or Italian ice one afternoon would be a welcome distraction. And don’t discount the pleasures of summers past – a bottle of bubbles for each staffer will cost little more than a trip to the dollar store but can bring a wave of nostalgia that would pay off in a productivity boost for the rest of the day.