Productivity Doesn’t Have To Decline Because It’s Summer

The summer months can bring a drop in productivity and a rise in the absentee rate, but there are ways for manufacturers combat this, as several companies illustrate. One company hosts themed outdoor events each month, while another offers an on-site organic garden that employees can tend, Tina Hamilton tells FastComany.com.

“It doesn’t matter if a company is in its busy or slow time, employees are going on vacation or doing vacation-type things during the weekend,” Hamilton, who is president of the human resources outsourcing firm myHR Partner.

Instead of fighting the season, Hamilton says it’s better to embrace it. “You can’t change people’s feelings and emotions about wanting to be outside in summer,” she says. “It’s better to go with it, and do what you can to expose them to a little bit of summer fun. It can help them focus when it’s time to work.”

While myHR Partner beats the seasonal slump by allowing employees that can to work from home on Fridays in the summer, other companies are getting creative in their methods for beating the summer slump. Here are six fun ideas for making the most of being outside in the warm weather.

Boot manufacturer Timberland has an onsite organic garden that employees get to tend in the summertime. Started in 2007, the Victory Garden yields fresh produce for employees as well as the local community. Each day volunteer gardeners water, harvest, weed, and sell the produce at the company’s “farm stand” inside the building. Proceeds raised from the sales are donated to the New Hampshire Food Bank, and last year, the company was able to give more than $2,500.

“Employees often comment that the ‘break’ outside and away from their desk is beneficial to their mental health,” says Atlanta McIlwraith, senior manager of community engagement and communication. “They enjoy getting away for a short time and watering the garden, or just walking through the garden to see what’s growing.”

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