With Top Gun 2 set to be released in 2020, we’re all revved up to see white suit-clad pilots peacocking in bars during those endless Hot Summer Nights…but while it’s all fun and fly-bys for mini-Maverick and Iceman Jr, the rest of us ground-bound workers are more concerned with Hot Summer Days and the fatigue that often accompanies them. Luckily for you and your station commander, there are plenty of ways to keep your staff energized, motivated and on-track. Sweet treats, office exercise and regular breaks are just a few of the best ways to keep the energy levels of your agency as high as an F-14 Tomcat.
Summer Fatigue And Its Effects
When the summer months roll in, the temperature shoots up and many people are left feeling lethargic, sleep-deprived and lacking in motivation to get through the workday. Often, it isn’t just the heat causing fatigue, it can also be a result of dehydration and salt loss, which saps energy and can lead to far more serious issues if left unchecked.
It should go without saying that when people are tired, they aren’t going to be working to their full potential, and if it continues day after day, it could lead to a pretty serious motivation deficit. And unmotivated staff means an unmotivated agency, which is very quickly going to result in lost leads, lost time and lost business.
Luckily, there are a whole host of ways to combat summer fatigue and keep your agency pumped; after all, it’s damned dangerous to fall asleep in the cockpit…
1. Staff Bbq Lunch In The Park
Sometimes the best way to get people excited about coming into the office is to get them out of the office. And what better way than a BBQ in the park? It couples fresh air with good food and can alleviate some of that FOMO your staff may be suffering when the sun is shining outside.
2. Easily Accessible Water
One of the main causes of fatigue in the summer is dehydration, so keeping your staff refreshed and well-watered can provide a major motivation boost. It doesn’t matter if this is done by providing bottles, coolers, jugs with cups or anything else, just make sure it’s easy to access — people are more likely to drink water if it’s right there in front of them.
3. Free Ice Lollies In The Afternoons
Free lollies. I mean, that’s all that needs to be said. If you need more reasons to go and grab some popsicles, they’re also a fun way to keep people hydrated, reduce internal body temperature and replace lost salts. However, this strategy does have the potential to backfire if you’re not careful, with the entire office suddenly having a sugar crash at 4pm… If you can, try to provide low-sugar options made with real fruit!
4. Encourage Regular Breaks
You should be encouraging your workers to take regular breaks regardless of the season but in summer it’s especially important, since staying sat in one place (especially near that forever-hot computer fan) will only serve to redouble the lethargy they may be suffering. If your building has an outdoor space, encourage your staff to grab some fresh air and cool down when they can.
5. Stretch It Out
OK, so you’re taking your regularly-intervaled breaks, but what to do? Why not exercise? No, you don’t have to duke it out shirtless on the beach volleyball court or anything, just 10 to 15 minutes of gentle stretches is a fantastic way to get out of that swivel-chair and get the serotonin flowing. Even just a little bit of physical exercise can drastically improve your mood.
6. Go Green This Summer
Consider dotting some potted plants around the office to boost motivation — studies have found that even a little flora furnishing can improve mood, reduce stress and increase concentration. They can also help to tackle the root of the problem of summer fatigue by reducing the temperature by as much as ten degrees!
7. It’s Time To Flex
Spartans are tough, commuters are tougher, and if your staff have to fight their way through crowds of them on trains, buses or bikes, they’re absolutely going to feel fatigued by the time they reach the office. Why not make work times a little more flexible so staff can skip rush hour and feel refreshed rather than battle-worn when they arrive? If you’re worried about keeping on top of work, tools like Productive make it easy for staff members to track time, progress and sales regardless of their flex, meaning more motivation and productivity.
8. Plunge Yourself Into Darkness
Well, you don’t actually want to make the office pitch-black, but you do want to turn off any unnecessary lights. About 90% of the energy that goes into lighting gets converted into heat – the same principle applies for any electronic equipment (especially motors) that will be pumping extra heat into your space. If you don’t need it right that minute, turn it off.
9. Wear Cool Clothes
As smooth as Maverick et al looked in their flight gear, we can’t imagine them grinding out a particularly productive office day in an 8 kg jumpsuit. Relaxing the dress code to allow staff to wear less formal clothes in the office has a dual impact. First, lighter cotton clothes as opposed to more traditional attire will keep them cool in the heat, combating fatigue and boosting energy. Second, being able to dress how you want can boost motivation as it’s seen as a ‘perk’ of the workplace and will positively tip the scales in favour of a good work-life balance. Oh, and Aviator sunglasses should always be allowed encouraged.
10 . Give Your Staff A Reason To Be Excited To Come Into Work
A lot of tips and methods of improving motivation and tackling fatigue boil down to one simple idea — get your staff excited about being at the office! While the occasional free lollies and BBQ lunches are great, you can’t rely on them alone; you need to focus on building a company culture that keeps people hyped about doing what they do. This above all else will help keep staff energized every day of the year, not just in the hot summer months.
Don’t let your agency turn into great balls of fire – keep that loving feeling going all the way through summer by implementing a range of fun and scientifically proven fatigue-fighting techniques. Talk with your team and see what they need, and if one method doesn’t work with your agency, switch it up and try another! There are plenty of options to keep your agency’s energy levels high, you just need to find the one that works for you, your staff…and your wingman.