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Summer Survival: How to Support Your People Navigate the Stress & Strains of Summer

Sinead Murphy Jun 14, 2024 11:28:01 AM

For many, summer is a time of fun, sunshine, and long, lazy days. It’s an opportunity to take a break from routine and instead seek rest and relaxation.  

But for businesses, summer comes with a unique set of challenges. From navigating school holidays and managing spikes in annual leave to maintaining a productive and engaged workforce, balancing the demands of the season can be a tricky task.  

When a study delved deeper into the impact of summer, findings showed that:  

  • Workplace productivity can drop by 20%  
  • Attendance can dip by 19% 
  • Project turnaround times may increase by 12% 
  • 45% of staff struggle with feeling distracted   

And it’s not just operations that are affected. With less hands on deck to deal with the workload, those who are present may feel overwhelmed or burnt out due to the stress and pressure of picking up the slack while others are absent.  

Many may feel deflated as they struggle with productivity levels and feeling unaccomplished. If their extra efforts go unrecognised, they may also feel underappreciated, undervalued, and less willing to work to their full potential.  

Then, there’s the issue of childcare. With working parents facing around 7.4 weeks of school holidays each year after their annual leave has been exhausted, navigating changes in childcare routines alongside work demands can cause significant stress.  

If they stay in work while juggling their childcare responsibilities, staff may become mentally checked out despite being physically present - which can be damaging to morale and productivity. If they use annual leave for childcare purposes, however, staff may struggle with burnout due to not taking time out to rest.   

For low-income families, the impact is even greater:  

  • 4 in 10 have gone into debt to manage childcare  
  • Half have had to reduce their hours  
  • A fifth have had to quit their jobs altogether  

 

How can businesses better support their staff during summer?   

If you’re a business leader looking to maintain a happy, healthy, and engaged workforce as the seasons change, here are some effective strategies you can implement to support your staff during the summer months:  

 

Create a culture of understanding and openness 

When parents and carers feel the demands of family life are understood and appreciated, they can be their authentic selves in the workplace. That’s because fostering a culture of this kind not only makes employees aware of the support available to them, but also helps them feel more comfortable discussing – and in turn, addressing - their needs with line managers.  

Similarly, it’s important that those employees picking up the extra workload feel they can communicate to ensure they are coping with demands. This open communication can also enable leaders to manage and mitigate employee stress before it reaches crisis point.    

Your people’s efforts and ability to cope with this seasonal increase in pressure is vital to the success of your organisation - so it's important not to underplay their value.  

 

Provide flexible working options  

Flexibility can help your people work around changing care needs during the holidays. This is both good for families and good for business, as flexible working can: 

  • Help attract top talent, with 87% of people wanting to work flexibly   
  • Boost revenue by 43% and productivity by 20%   
  • Reduce staff turnover by 87% 
  • Drive motivation, with 9 in 10 employees considering flexible working to be a key motivator to their workplace productivity   

 

With personal, professional, and financial pressure mounting in the summer months, your staff may find it difficult to balance the various aspects of life. Find ways to encourage healthy habits that will improve their wellbeing and promote a sense of balance – such as with Vivup’s Your Care Platform.  

This comprehensive wellbeing platform encourages proactive health management through a variety of tools and resources, including the promotion of small, sustainable lifestyle changes that can contribute positively to your staff’s wellbeing.  

 

Help staff manage the stress and financial strain of childcare  

Childcare is a significant expense for any working family – costing some parents more than half of their take-home pay.  

Our Family Care benefit connects staff to all forms of care from one convenient location. This helps employees choose the care they need, when they need it, from a wide range of trusted providers. 

Plus, with our Family Pay benefit, employees can salary sacrifice their childcare costs and make savings on NI and pension contributions – helping to reduce their expenditure and support them financially  

 

Recognise and reward your people’s hard work  

It’s no secret that a happy workplace is a more productive workplace. In fact, 63% would not look for new roles if their work was consistently recognised.  

To help your people feel recognised during those stressful summer months, and beyond, Vivup highfive has the solution. Whether it’s a reward for hitting a target or a simple thank you for a job well done, highfive can help to increase employee engagement, boost team morale, and give your staff the appreciation they deserve through instant digital acknowledgments.  

 

Offer mental, physical, and financial support  

Providing a range of benefits that support your staff's mental, physical, and financial wellbeing is essential for maintaining a healthy and productive workforce - not just during summer, but all year round.  

By investing in your people's wellness, you'll not only enhance their satisfaction and loyalty; you’ll also boost your organisation’s performance and success.  

Here at Vivup, we're committed to helping you reach this goal. Our range of employee benefits is designed to meet the diverse needs of your workforce, ensuring they feel valued and supported every day of the year.  

To learn more about how we can help, get in touch today.

 

During the summer months, it’s important that we provide the support and flexibility employees need. This will ensure they not only have time out to enjoy an uninterrupted break (and hopefully some sunshine!), but that parents have the flexibility needed to juggle childcare.

The benefits we offer at Vivup are geared towards supporting, engaging, and recognising employees. With the right support and benefits in place, businesses will continue to have happy, healthy, and productive employees - all year round.

-Jennifer Healy, People and Culture Director at Vivup   

 

 

 

Terms & Conditions

Highfive

Rewards provided as gift cards to employees through this scheme are subject to HMRC Employee incentive award rules on Income tax and NIC, and subject to change.

Rewards cannot be exchanged or re-sold.

 

Family Pay

For nursery places, Family Pay can be used to cover the cost of 80% of the total cost of the child care. Employees/ Parents must have a direct relationship with their childcare provider.

For Holiday Clubs- Employees/ Parents must have a direct relationship with their childcare provider.

 

Your Care

Prescription costs apply

24/7 access to Online GP app - telephone/ video consultations are 8am to 10pm, 7 days a week, UK only time, excluding UK bank holidays.

 

Sources 

Captivate Work Spouse Press Release v1 

Do the summer months affect productivity? (ascento.co.uk) 

HR Magazine - The summer holiday slog: supporting families through the school holidays 

flexible-working-business-case_tcm18-52768.pdf (cipd.org) 

Weekly childcare costing some parents more than half of their take-home pay, new analysis shows - Business in the Community (bitc.org.uk) 

Employee Recognition Statistics 2024: Demographics and Practices | TeamStage