8 ways to beat the summer productivity slump
Submitted by Catrin Jenkins on
Ahh, August. A month full of sunshine, holiday talk and summer festivals. Weekends dedicated to barbecues and weekdays speckled with out-of-office replies and Facebook beach photos.
Sound familiar? Glorious as it sounds, it’s not exactly a recipe for record-breaking business productivity. If you’re in the grip of a summer slump, try our 8 quick and quirky tips for a refreshing blast of summer productivity.
- Keep it Cool:
Uncomfortably warm offices send productivity plummeting. Finding an ambient temperature is important, but how warm is too warm? It’s a hot topic that’s debated all over the world, with studies concluding that office occupiers should aim for an average between 19 - 25 degrees Celsius. Clear as day, isn’t it? Thankfully, every private office suite at Landmark has individually controlled air conditioning, so you can strike a balance that’s just right for your team.
- Get Out More:
Don’t stay cooped up inside during breaks. Take your lunch outside and enjoy an al fresco picnic; our roof terraces at Old Broad Street in The City and Dover Street in Mayfair are just the ticket. On pleasant mornings or evenings, hop off the tube a stop early and walk the rest of the way. Not only will you stretch your legs and soak up that all-important Vitamin D, you’ll also skip the rush hour.
- Try a Walking Meeting:
If sitting is the new smoking and standing up is the new sitting down, then walking is definitely a step in the right direction. Office work is sedentary, which slows down your metabolism and negatively impacts your blood pressure and cardiovascular health. Walking meetings or ‘walk-and-talks’ inject more movement into your day and also help attendees disconnect, digitally speaking. It helps to keep meetings focused and according to a study from Harvard Business Review, it leads to increased creative thinking, honest exchanges and greater productivity all-round.
- Plan a Team Volunteer Outing:
Give something back to your local community or chosen charity. Plan a team volunteering outing during the quiet summer months, particularly if it involves outdoor work. Not only will you help an important cause, you will also demonstrate your values and set a positive example to your team.
- Accomplish More by Doing Less:
It may sound a little counter-productive, but this ‘work less, do more’ research study from Harvard Business Review may have you questioning your workday routine. In essence: “It’s not just the number of hours we sit at a desk in that determines the value we generate. It’s the energy we bring to the hours we work.”
- Training and Development:
Continuing the idea outlined above, the quiet summer months could be an optimum time to re-energise your team by investing in personal development or skills training. Why not start with time management? Consider bringing the team together for a half or full day of training in which everyone can benefit. Or, challenge your staff to identify their own targets and empower them to self-train for a certain amount of time per week.
- Re-Organise, Tidy Up, Refresh:
If you’re stuck in an unproductive rut, Forbes contributor Monica Wang recommends using that time to de-clutter your workspace: “A great first move can be to introduce order into your life, especially if your workspace is a mess.” Rather than a 5-minute de-cluttering session, Wang uses it as an opportunity to learn positive new habits. She recommends Marie Kondo’s bestselling book - The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing - which offers startling insights into the Japanese “KonMari” lifestyle method.
- Hydration, Hydration, Hydration:
Above all, stay hydrated. When you’re feeling sluggish on a warm Friday afternoon, your first instinct might be to reach for a chilled fizzy drink or a triple shot of espresso. Don’t! In fact, research shows that you should re-fill your water glass instead.
In 2014, researchers at the Weill Cornell Medical College’s Brain & Mind Research Institute found that even mild dehydration can suppress the increase in blood flow induced by, and necessary for, proper neural activity. One of the study’s authors, Giuseppe Faraco, said: “Based on these findings, it goes without saying that even a mild dehydration might have a significant impact on work capacity and productivity.” So, drink up!
Got a productivity tip we haven’t included? Join the conversation and tweet us @landmarkplc.