3 Ways to Beat the Summertime Blues with Better Employee Benefits

Business.com / Managing / Last Modified: July 20, 2017
Photo credit: Kyrylo Glivin/Shutterstock

Providing employee benefits to nurture a better work-life balance – especially in the summer months – can boost mood as well as employee engagement, productivity and retention.

Providing employee benefits to nurture a better work-life balance – especially in the summer months – can boost mood as well as employee engagement, productivity and retention.

CareerBuilder, for example, offers Summer Fridays, in which employees work shorter work weeks so they can spend part of their Fridays at home with family or catching up on errands or tasks.

Here are some other ways you can lift employees’ spirits this summer.

Breaking down walls

Don't let employees stare longingly outside their windows in hopes of catching some rays before the end of the day. Instead, bring their office outside. 

For example, Google’s Kirkland campus provides outdoor areas for employees to work during nice weather. This tactic is part of the reason why Google is among the best for tech companies to work for, because they build workspaces that encourage productivity and comfort.

Find procedures and policies that work for you and your culture. If you want to give employees the chance to work outside, designate specific outdoor areas where employees can access Wi-Fi and sit comfortably. This is a refreshing break from the monotony of the workday. 

Also, start programs to get employees on their feet during the day. Consider incorporating "hiking meetings" into your summer schedule. If you have outdoor spaces nearby, like parks or nature trails, plan specific routes.

Alternatively, if your office is located in the city, promote walking challenges and outdoor meetings on the move in specific neighborhoods. Add some extra excitement by ending the meeting with a group lunch at a local restaurant.

Employees will be more engaged and creativity will flow since they won't be constrained to the same space.

Trek Bicycle rewards employees who carpool, cycle, or walk to work by paying them credits to use for food in the company cafe or for bike parts. They also enjoy private access to a World Cup cyclocross course and 21 miles of biking trails.  

No matter the programs or policies, you should proactively encourage employees to enjoy the outdoors during the workday. 

Sun-soaked incentives

Everyone knows the power of monetary incentives, but think beyond those. Instead, allow employees to earn summer-themed rewards. 

First, consider planning an outdoor summer event once or twice a month where employees dictate what they'd like to compete in. Then, announce fun rewards for the winners.

These could include family pool passes, baseball tickets or water park tickets to use after working hours and on weekends. Additionally, offer prizes like two half-day Fridays over the summer, grants or discounts for employees to use on travel and time off for outdoor activities.

For example, Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) encourages outdoor adventure through challenge grants. Employees can decide on a personal outdoor challenge and apply for a special grant to help make it happen.

Your outdoor event doesn’t need to include competitions. Companies like 1-800 CONTACTS throw an annual summer picnic and film festival and extend the invitation to all family members. The bottom line? Offer benefits that engage your employees in fun activities that get them outside.

Employee benefits for balance

Employees appreciate when their employers help them manage a healthy work-life balance. Deloitte’s 2016 survey found that, excluding salary, millennials make good work-life balance their top consideration when they evaluate job opportunities.

Build your employee benefits offerings around improving their work-life balance. Look into creating a program that helps them spend more time at home, especially for employees with school-age children.

Summer months are especially difficult for parents because they need to find alternative care. Consider offering temporary work-at-home options, flexible work hours or a summer daycare program.

For example, the eco-friendly diaper company gDiapers provides both an on-site daycare and a flexible work schedule, allowing employees to work from home as much as they need to.

By offering employee benefits that encourage work-life balance and add flexibility to the workday, you show your employees how much their well-being matters to you. When they can enjoy the sunny months and break out of their summertime blues, they are happier, healthier, and more productive.

How are you helping your employees beat their summer blues?

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