Memorial Day is in the rearview mirror,
school vacation is almost upon us. With
the "lazy, hazy, crazy" days of summer fast
approaching, how best to maintain productivity during a season marked by
holidays, vacations and distracting beach weather?
For starters, don't resist the time off.
While it may seem counterintuitive, productivity is actually enhanced by taking
a break. Roman poet Ovid famously said, "Take a rest; a field that is rested
gives a bountiful crop."
The Upside of Downtime
Ovid's dictum holds true today. A 2009 study lead by Harvard Business School leadership
professor Leslie Perlow confirms that getting away from work for set,
preplanned periods of time can yield unexpected on-the-job benefits. The
preparation required to successfully execute a shortened workweek produces
tangible benefits which can include:
Wall Street Journal reporter Sue
Shellenbarger was inspired by the HBS study to put aside her own work for a set
period each month and found her own productivity improving. Read her article If You Need to Work Better, Try Working Less for her first-hand account
of increased productivity through planned respites.
Consider a Compressed Workweek
Looking for opportunities to let your
field lie fallow? Explore the possibilities of working Summer Hours also
commonly called a Compressed Workweek. Compressed schedules can
be set up in a variety of ways, either 40 hours worked over 4 days, or a week of five
nine-hour days followed by a week of four nine-hour days, giving employees a
day off every other week. Some offices elect to give employees half day
Fridays. Summer Hours typically are offered
only between Memorial and Labor Days.
According to a study
by Hewitt Associates, a leading HR consulting and outsourcing firm,
the majority of firms who provide compressed workweeks during the summer find
it successful in boosting employee retention, engagement and productivity.
While a flexible work schedule can
provide plenty of upside-revitalized employees and improved workplace planning
and communication- drawbacks to compressed workweeks exist and should be
fully explored before embarking on any schedule changes.
Make Vacation Count
If a compressed work week isn't in the
cards, recharge your batteries by making the most of your vacation days.
Alleviate pre-vacation stress by giving
plenty of notice so schedules run smoothly and cross-train a colleague to sub
in on your workload while you're out. Consider scheduling vacations after major
projects and during slow periods so you can be confident your absence isn't
And while you may need (or want) to check
in, be sure to allow enough mental distance from work, that you can return
recharged and ready.
Does your workplace have Summer Hours or
policies to help manage productivity during the summer? Share your stories here
and on the Beyond Folders Community's Facebook
and Twitter pages.
by Carly Fadako
Wow! Great tihkning! JK
9cb5mW Awesome blog article.Really thank you! Great.
Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates
passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization. Believing in "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.