It is that time of year again. Time for family reunions, backyard cookouts, destination weddings, and impromptu trips to the beach. But while that means a lot of fun times and memories at home, it could mean a lot of extra stress and anxiety at work. Chances are, your employees will be taking more time than usual off, which can make it difficult to appropriately staff projects or meet deadlines.
More often than not, summer is the time of year when events and commitments can suddenly pop up. Children are off from school, which can mean more stress on parents to be at home, plus family or friends are more likely to come into town announced. All in all, there is just more stuff going on.
As a manager, sometimes the best that you can do is just anticipate these distractions and try to be as flexible and understanding as possible. As much as you can, try to put together contingency plans and add additional time into project schedules, knowing that things could potentially get delayed. Interruptions will undoubtedly come up. Just remember to breathe and take things in stride.
Communicate Often & Early
You already know that people are going to want to take time off. That is just a given. The real problem is that some of your employees will wait until the very last possible minute to make their requests, which can make things more difficult.
Talk to your employees as early as you can (i.e. now) about what their summer schedules look like. You cannot risk having everyone request the same days off, so let people know it is in their best interest to put their time off on the calendar sooner rather than later.
Make sure that you are considering your available staff when it comes to taking on new client work. You want to make sure that you are not committing to schedules and deadlines that you will not be able to keep. It would also be a good idea to look into temp hiring agencies, in case you need to quickly staff up to complete a project on time. You do not want to just start researching opportunities when you find out you are down three sets of hands.
Everyone Is at the Beach? Take Advantage of Downtime
There is also always the chance that work will be slow, since prospective clients are also taking time to travel or spend with their families. If you do find yourself with more time on your hands than normal, make sure that you are using it wisely.
Get that filing project out of the way that you have been putting off forever. Use the time to scout out new clients or test out new system software that can help streamline your processes once things are running at full speed again. If there is something you always wish you had time for when you are really busy, do it now.