Summer brings a lot of exciting changes from the rest of the year, including warm weather, additional time off, and an overall increase in mental health. It also has an ability to cause a bit of a “summer slump” at work, especially if business is slower than usual. To combat that lack of focus and productivity, here are 4 tips to stay motivated during the summer so you can truly enjoy your down time.

Physically recharge during the day

While this tip should be practiced year-round, it’s especially helpful during the summer months, when the weather is nicer and warmer. Try to take walks outside on your lunch break, stay hydrated throughout the day, and eat the right snacks. Consistent movement, combined with energy-inducing drinks and snacks, will help you feel recharged when that mid-afternoon sluggishness hits.

Switch up your scenery and routine

If you’re able, changing up your “office” for the day can help break up your routine and deter feelings of boredom. For instance, heading to a coffee shop or cafe for the day can boost your productivity and eliminate any distractions that might be at home during the summer. The Atlantic mentions that social pressure can go a long way, as professionals are more likely to get work done when they know people are watching.

Socialize with your colleagues

Sometimes, what is referred to as “relational energy,” can positively affect our attitude and performance at work. Socializing and chatting with coworkers, even if just for a quick walk to get coffee, can reduce monotony and help us feel more connected. Managers should also make an effort to check up on their team during the summer and maintain communication even if work itself has slowed down.

Take advantage of the time off

Sometimes, you might just need to give into that “summer slump” and embrace the opportunity to take time off. PTO is provided to you for a reason and you shouldn’t feel any guilt taking advantage of it. This includes Summer Fridays! Enjoy the sun with family and friends, while also recharging your mind and basking in a well-deserved break!

Green Key Unlocked: Company Culture in Pandemic Aftermath

The coronavirus pandemic altered our lives in more ways than we can count. While masks and social distancing have become the new normal, so has the outlook of the corporate world. In the past year, more adults than ever have been making large career changes and bettering their work lives. In August of 2020, a record 4.3 million people quit their jobs in the U.S., in what many are calling “The Great Resignation.” 

What is causing this recent corporate trend? 

With canceled events and offices closing down, many professionals had a chance to reassess their wants and needs. This led to a huge surge in job departures and industry switches. Compensation and advancement opportunities were common factors, but the biggest reason? Lack of appreciation. 

“One of the things I hear the most when talking with job seekers is they feel undervalued in their current role,” says Kiki Tyler, Account Executive of Office Support at Green Key Resources. Clients reaching out are concerned about company culture, a detail many have overlooked in the past. Work from home culture has taken a significant effect on the importance of flexibility.  

In short, money isn’t everything. Job hunters want to know they can be trusted by their managers to get their work done. Gone are the days of long commutes and being chained to a desk. This need for a healthy work-life balance is what caused many people to flee their previous jobs. 

In a recent Prudential survey polling 2,000 adults, 87% said they’d prefer to work remotely at least one day a week. In fact, 42% of them claim that if their company didn’t allow fully remote work, they would find work elsewhere. This has caused a major shift in the way companies are treating their employees. 

Tyler says, “Throwing money at the problem isn’t going to make it go away. Increasing an employee’s salary to get them to stay is a short-term solution to a bigger issue. Company culture and communication are two places to look for low, no-cost solutions companies can implement now to make people feel more valued and appreciated today.” 

How can employers value their employees? 

These changes are happening quickly and companies will feel the need to keep up. The cost of filling lost roles versus making simple changes is becoming more and more prevalent. And while the perfect company culture varies from person to person, feeling “burned out” and underappreciated is no longer considered acceptable. 

Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M who coined the phrase “The Great Resignation”, says, “I think employers are going to need to do some trial and error, run some experiments on different setups. Organizations should approach this like a scientist.” 

This new work-life balance demand might seem difficult to achieve, but can definitely bring along some positive experiences. Valued adults produce better work. Various happy hours and free yoga will no longer suffice. Companies need to listen and learn from their employees, while growing together with them in this new age of work options.  

To find your new career and connect with one of our talented recruiters, visit our jobs page today to get started. 

Do You Really Want to Be a Manager?

It’s flattering to be offered a management promotion. It shows the confidence your boss has in you, and the bump in your paycheck would certainly be welcome.

But before you say yes, take a deep breath and think about what it means. Not everyone wants to be a manager. Not everyone who is a manager should be one.

Being a manager comes with dramatically different responsibilities. Instead of being responsible only for yourself, as a manager you’re responsible for the work of a team. You’ll be dealing with different personalities and styles. You’ll face pressure from your boss to meet a whole range of new measures. Besides getting projects done on deadline, there will be budget considerations and quality standards. At the same time, you’ll hear from your reports about being pushed too hard or not getting the resources they insist they need.

You’ll be expected to coach your team, supporting them and giving them the feedback they need and want. At times, that means delivering feedback about poor performance. As a CNN Business article points out, you have to sometimes be willing to be seen as the guy delivering bad news.

Says Leigh Steere, co-founder of research group Managing People Better, “The No. 1 task that managers shy away from is confronting poor performance.

“They may be conflict avoidant. Some say ‘I’m not comfortable judging others.’ Or they want to be viewed as a nice manager. [But] it is not nice to withhold feedback from somebody that they need to learn and grow.”

The skills it takes to be a great manager are far different from those of being a great worker. Too often companies promote great workers because they perform at the top of the curve, only to discover that as a manager their performance is lacking at which point their rise in the organization halts — or worse.

While management training can make a difference, too often this training is limited to legal issues and administrative procedures. Even when the training includes coaching and feedback and similar matters, it takes constant reinforcement and personal commitment to be effective.

So when the opportunity comes along, think it through. Ask managers you respect for advice. Discuss with your boss the changes you’ll need to make. Then ask yourself, are you willing to give up what you do in order to manage others? Is that you?

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash