The summer vacation season brings well-deserved relaxation and time-off for many employees after long months spent in front of their screens. But this period can be stressful and exhausting for those who remain in the office (virtual or physical) to hold down the fort.
From a management perspective, managing workload during these months requires shifting priorities and reorganising staff responsibilities while keeping an eye on employee wellbeing. Meanwhile, for the workforce, this could mean taking on additional tasks that generally fall outside of their remit or having to manage an increased amount of responsibilities.
In the following article, we’ll explore the best techniques on how to manage productivity and holiday workload for both managers and employees.
Let’s get started.
Coping with The Holiday Season as a Manager
Give More Flexibility to Your Staff
The summer months provide an excellent opportunity to give your staff the option of remote work. Remote workers are reported to have higher levels of job satisfaction and reduced stress than their office counterparts. In addition to these, engagement levels also tend to increase for virtual employees, making workload management easier.
Hybrid working will not only allow your employees to save time on commuting (especially in scorching temperatures and with high petrol prices), but also increase their wellbeing and productivity in the long term.
Thanks to tools like My Digital Office, working from home can be as fun and effective as working in the office. Our virtual office solution provides an efficient and meaningful way for your team to communicate visually with full accessibility and transparency to drive engagement.
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Let Your Junior Staff Shine
Juggling an increased workload can give junior team members an opportunity to step up in their roles and understand the broader business strategy better. Cross-train your team members ahead of the vacation period to maximise efficiency. This will help you manage the increased workload and also help with continuity between handovers and avoid having to call your staff on leave to answer critical questions.
Workplace training also provides an average of 10% increase in overall productivity. Furthermore, developing your staff members can significantly affect employee retention and engagement. So, take a look at the upsides of this time and let your junior staff shine.
Plan Projects Ahead of Time
Leaving your workload planning to the last minute can cause significant issues down the line. Sit down with your team ahead of the summer months to strategise on capacity and reasonable deadlines. Moreover, try to assess which tasks are urgent or require specialist knowledge and share work plans with your entire team for maximum visibility.
Extra tip: Projects can take up to 13% longer to complete during staff vacation, so you might have to leave longer timelines for some tasks depending on your staffing status. Calculate this well ahead of time to ensure that your team will not come under increased stress, risking employee wellbeing and team morale.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
This should come as a fairly basic exercise for most managers, but especially during these stressful periods, make sure that you reach out frequently and proactively to your team. Besides regular check-ins regarding projects and deadlines, try to assess if your employees might need additional help to manage their workloads or stress levels.
When feeling overwhelmed, your staff might feel underappreciated or have low morale. Manage expectations on both sides and maximise your efforts to make your team feel valued. This can come in many shapes and forms, including providing extra flexibility or assigning additional team members to complicated projects, possibly through outsourcing.
Employee Holiday Survival Tips
Assess Your Priorities
It’s easy to feel stressed when juggling multiple tasks or unknown responsibilities. For this reason, it’s critical to take time to identify high and low priorities.
When your colleagues go on holiday, it’s not the time to catch up with the bottom of your to-do list or work on long-term projects. Make sure you receive a sufficient handover before taking on new tasks. This can make or break your success during holiday covers.
Have a conversation with your team and your manager to determine what items can be reasonably postponed to effectively manage capacity. Once your priorities are aligned, try to itemise these responsibilities into manageable steps that can help you feel less overwhelmed.
Know Your Limits
Understanding your abilities and limitations can help you to analyse how many tasks you can reasonably handle and therefore help you to manage a heavy workload.
A healthy work-life balance will also help your enthusiasm, accuracy, and speed. Make sure to take regular breaks to keep up your productivity. Employee wellbeing should still be a number one priority even in busy periods. You will not be able to support your team if you feel burnout and resentful.
Ask For Help and Stay Connected
Trying to finish all tasks by yourself might not bring the result you think it would as it can hinder your and your team’s productivity in the long term. Asking for help is often daunting for people; however, it is essential to remember that it is impossible to succeed in modern organisations without your team’s help.
Asking for help can prove your competency and desire to excel at work, so don’t hesitate to reach out. Collaborative office culture can help establish a supportive work environment where teams can work fluidly together. Digital office solutions like My Digital Office can help employees feel more connected in the remote working environment and provide new, exciting ways to collaborate.
The Bottom Line
Managing the vacation season can be hectic for managers and employees alike, but it doesn’t have to be a painful exercise. With enough preparation and healthy company culture, workload and stress levels can be managed successfully.