Summer has officially arrived and with it comes our summer working hours. Starting in July, the team at Blue Rocket begins the working day slightly earlier, but also ends it slightly earlier, giving everyone the chance to get home, get out in the garden and enjoy the long, balmy evenings with family and friends.
We’ve done this for many years, and it really works for us. Flexible working arrangements is something which many more employers are embracing, and it helps to increase morale as well as demonstrate that you trust your employees to get the work done in the allotted time. Work hard, play hard.
Now all our employees know what the score is, they know that they need to get in early, get straight to work (after a cup of tea, of course, we’re not that evil) and, as a result, the working day ends earlier, and it’s off for a glass of Pimms.
If you are thinking about employing the same kind of tactic, then we can thoroughly recommend it. Not that it has to be the way that we have done it. It might be worth asking your staff what they would like, one variation includes working longer hours during the week so that everyone finishes at lunchtime on a Friday, for example.
However, it is advisable to get some rules in place first, so this is our guide on how to implement a summer schedule within your business.
Create a plan on how the schedule is going to change. State in really clear terms what the working hours are going to be, and add any exceptions, if an urgent piece of work comes in, or their work isn’t finished, then they have to stay until completed, for example.
Then ensure you communicate this plan to all. In person. And don’t make any exceptions, you can’t exclude certain people from this new way of working, so if you need phone lines manned, etc. then you need to think about how you make this work, perhaps it is that everyone can’t finish early, but you can all take turns.
It has to be a plan that isn’t going to affect overall productivity, so you need to put measures into place to monitor the workload and output to ensure that there isn’t a lull in work during the summer months. It has been shown that the hotter the weather, productivity naturally does decrease, so in fact, introducing summer hours may mean that productivity increases as employees ensure the work is done so that they can go home early. Win-win situation!
Finally, keep checking in with your employees. Are summer hours working for them? Are they managing to get their work completed on time? If not, how can you help them manage this, so that they get to take advantage of this perk?
You may need to tweak if necessary, but the important thing is that you are listening, and getting feedback. The employer-employee relationship works both ways. You trust them, and show you care, and in return, the more loyal your employees will be, and also more likely they are to stay in the role and not move on.
So just because it’s summer, doesn’t mean you are taking your eye off the ball (Wimbledon reference there!) but that you recognise the importance of rewarding your employees, and that the summer is to be enjoyed. After all, make the most of it, we are in Britain after all, it’s not often we get too many days where there is no rain!
As its Ten2Two’s Tenth year operating, they have explored flexible working attitudes in greater detail, to learn what’s going well and what’s changed over the past decade. Download their latest report here.
And of course, feel free to get in touch if you want to see how it works in practice, and our advice on how to implement it.
Enjoy the Ray(s)!