8th July 2019

Summer slump slows down the work pace

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Staff are less productive in the summer months mainly due to the weather, according to research.

Quarterly figures were released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) this month, which showed nearly half of workers admitted their personal productivity drops in the warmer months.

Nearly 80 per cent of employees felt their colleagues are less productive during the summer period while 25 per cent admitted to skipping work so they could enjoy the sunny weather.

The study discovered firms could be more proactive, with 71 per cent of organisations failing to offer amended work hours and 61 per cent not offering team-building events outside the office in the summer months.

Korn Ferry, a management consulting firm, discovered in a separate online executive survey it conducted that workers find it hard to get out of work mode during their holiday with 45 per cent admitting they check in with the office numerous times.

In addition, 65 per cent said they have been forced to cut their own holiday short due to work pressures.

Kay Cooper, managing director, EMEA at Korn Ferry said: “In a competitive job market, it’s vital for organisations to understand how their employees actually work and what their needs are, and this extends to seasonal variations in productivity.

“Summer holds cultural importance as a moment of relaxation and holidays, and clearly for many people this phenomenon impacts workplace performance – yet not many organisations currently attempt to flex around the ‘summer slump’.”

Matt Weston, managing director at recruitment consultancy Robert Half, said: “The UK workplace is in the midst of a once-in-a-generation revolution, driven by digital transformation.

“Technologies such as automation, AI and machine learning can be used to automate manual tasks such as data entry, which frees up employees to focus on more strategic or innovative tasks. Employers that harness the benefits of new technologies in order to boost productivity will be the ones who achieve continued growth in the years to come.”