Summer can be a nightmare if you’re managing a team when the sun is out and everyone would rather be soaking up some rays, having a BBQ or watching that big sports event. Key team members might be on annual leave and those left behind can start requesting last-minute time off. Stormy times ahead? 

Here are our nine top tips to help you stay cool when the heat is on and avoid a workplace washout. 

  1. Make sure the workplace is as pleasant as possible during the hot weather: provide free cool drinks and ensure the air-con is serviced and working or provide fans. Encourage your team to spend time outside during their lunch break and if you have an outdoor area make sure it’s got some comfy seating and shade. 
  2. Treat everyone fairly when it comes to requests for time off. This is why a clear annual leave policy is so important. Encourage your team to book their annual leave well in advance and to coordinate with other team members. Don’t rule out last-minute leave requests but follow your policy and only allow this if it won’t affect key activities. 
  3. Consider allowing your staff an hour off here and there when the weather is really hot. A little extra time to fire up the BBQ will always be appreciated and will in turn help to inspire loyalty among your team. Flexible working hours could also be considered, allowing people to start work earlier when it’s cooler and still have time to enjoy the weather. 
  4. Have a clear sick leave policy in place including prompt notification rules and return to work interviews. This will ensure everyone is treated fairly. Never automatically assume that someone has taken sick leave to take advantage of the weather – approach each case individually and objectively. 
  5. There’s nothing worse than missing a huge sporting event because you have to be in the office – especially if the sun is out and other team members are on annual leave. Consider screening the event if this is practical in your workplace.  
  6. Where possible, make sure that at least two team members can carry out essential tasks – this will help to ensure everything continues to run seamlessly when people are off. 
  7. Plan in advance for the summer season: avoid scheduling key projects when it’s likely that important team members will be on annual leave. 
  8. Don’t micromanage your team – trust them to do their work, whether they are in the office or working remotely. Recognise and praise achievements. Consider allowing more remote working days when the weather is very hot. 
  9. Plan a summer get-together for staff and their families – even a simple lunchtime or after-work BBQ will help to boost morale, build stronger teams and inspire loyalty to your organisation. 

You may find useful: 

Developing Winning Teams: Discover how to build cohesive, motivated and productive teams, whether you’re starting from scratch, making some personnel changes or need fresh inspiration for an existing team.  

Five top tips for managing employees in a work-at-home culture.