How Is Your Office Beating the Summertime Blues?

June-July 2024
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Summertime is here and your employees are most likely itching to be by the nearest pool. Or they just want to be outside to get much-needed vitamin D. 

If they told you they were going to take their laptops and work remotely at one of these places, would you let them? These are the thoughts that go through agency owners’ heads as we fight our own summertime blues.

Agency culture is a hot topic these days. The term “post-COVID” often annoys me, but the truth is, we are still living in that world. Giving employees flexibility and trusting them with it is something we’ve all adapted to — especially in the warm summer months when everyone is eager to be outside. 

But what if you emailed your team and said pick four days this month, or every Friday, to work in a lounge chair by a pool or on a hillside in the sunshine. Would they think you were crazy? Disclaimers would be to put on a shirt, find shade and maybe turn down the tunes for client calls. Also, make it clear that while they’re enjoying this time, they need to be working. 

The truth is, we all need to take care of ourselves. Communicators are often overstressed, overwhelmed and overworked. It’s in our blood to work hard, and we thrive on it. But we can’t do our best work or have a positive agency culture if we don’t ever take a minute to slow down. 

It is our job to make it clear to our employees that it’s OK to take these breaks and to work while relaxing on a pool noodle if they’re getting things done. Here are a few ideas to jump-start your summer and turn your company culture up a few decibels:

  • Go on team outings. Find a local baseball or soccer game and treat your team and their plus-one or family to the game, a hotdog and two drinks of their choice. Our team did this last year and had such a fun time that I personally don’t even remember watching the game. 
  • Give out a hall pass. Pick Fridays or give employees a certain number of remote workdays for the summer months. Have your team send in photos and post whereabouts on your company social pages. Trust me, your job applicant pool will grow and, if your clients are getting the love they need and deserve, they’ll cheer you on for being such a great employer. 
  • Encourage bringing kids or pets to the office. If you’re hybrid, then let your team know they’re welcome to bring kids and pets (if allowed) to work. It’s hard during the summer with camps and child care, and this will help parents who may be in a bind since school is out. 
  • Walk to lunch. We all get busy and it’s sometimes easier to bring lunch or get something delivered. But how awesome is it to get out, get steps and walk to a cool, local lunch spot? Go with your team. Don’t stay behind.
  • Host impromptu happy hours. Who doesn’t want a fruity cocktail or mocktail after a long day? Or just a cold beer. The only negative to this is people may have plans, but the positive is that it’s “impromptu” for a reason. 

In short, just be flexible and have fun. We learn at an early age that this is what summer is all about, so keep that memory alive with your team.

Return to Current Issue Culture & Well-Being | June-July 2024
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