Research commissioned by Robert Half has identified the most common ‘bad habits’ for employees during the summer months. The recruitment business says that when the weather warms up and holidays come closer, it can be tempting for office workers to relax and let their professional guard down.
According to Australian managers, the most common summer employee behaviours are dressing too casually (42 per cent), unexpected absences (40 per cent), sneaking in late or leaving early (33 per cent), longer lunch breaks (33 per cent), not planning well for holidays (20 per cent) and being overly distracted (16 per cent).
Office workers spend their days working inside, so naturally warmer weather, excitement over upcoming holiday plans or the shift in team stability due to holiday absences can cause a lull in professional standards,” observe Nicole Gorton, Director of Robert Half Australia. "However, though it is not uncommon the workplace can be somewhat more casual during the summer months in many companies, workplace standards should be kept in check so that the work environment remains professional and productivity doesn’t slip.
“It is possible to achieve a healthy work/life balance during the summer months, without the weather putting your professionalism or workplace happiness at risk,” she concludes.
Here are some basic summer dos and don’ts for employees to keep in mind in summer:
DO: Enjoy the weather
DON’T: Relax your wardrobe too much
“Make the most of the season by taking time to enjoy the sunshine, such as lunchtime picnics or walking to and from the office, so you can stay focussed while you’re at work. And while it is not uncommon companies allow more casual clothing, it is important you uphold professional standards and check what your company’s corporate policy is on summer attire,” Nicole Gorton added.
DO: Assess your career progress
DON’T: Skip your holiday
“The end of the year is a great time to stop and reassess your career path. Schedule in some time with your manager to look at what you’ve achieved this year and how you’d like to challenge yourself next year. It’ll help you stay on track and will show you just how far you’ve come already.”
“Concurrently, skipping holidays is something many of us are guilty of. Using the summer season to take time off however is essential for recharging your batteries so you can take on projects and tasks head on when returning to the office. If you’re worried about finishing your projects in time or causing a work backlog, talk to your manager regarding upcoming busy periods and projects so you can plan your holiday more effectively,” Nicole Gorton added.
DO: Use the season as another way to connect with your teammates
DON’T: Take regular extended lunch breaks
“You don’t need a large budget to arrange fun office activities for summer with your colleagues. Arranging a team lunch in the park or a casual after-work sporting match is a great way of keeping active and gives you the chance to bond with other employees. And of course remember, during the summer months it’s still business as usual – so regularly taking extended lunch breaks and leaving the office early to enjoy the warmer weather is definitely not a good idea.”