With spring fully sprung and winter but a distant memory, the time has come to begin preparing for everyone’s favorite season: summer!
Even though adults don’t get the full summer break that we used to as kids, summer in the office place is still a time when employers traditionally grant concessions that allow employees to make the most of the weather. Even in our new age of hybrid and remote offices, summer benefits are a necessary (and fun) way to reward hard work and give people the break they need.
So what are people doing nowadays to get the most out of the summertime season in the office? We’ve compiled a list of benefits and activities you should consider implementing in your office to develop company culture and retain talent.
At this point, flexible and unlimited PTO have become an almost mandatory benefit offered by tech companies and aspiring startups looking to acquire top talent. The summertime is usually when employees take the most advantage.
Unlimited PTO rarely means offering people ten week vacations— instead it encourages a relationship where employees work hard knowing they will be able to take a great vacation later on. Similarly, flexible PTO, meaning there are few restrictions on when employees can use their time off, builds a culture of work hard play hard where employees know they can take a break when they need it.
What’s better than an office full of people? An office full of pets!
Bring your pet to work day is an awesome summer tradition that builds company culture, helps the team relax, and generally makes people happy. Dogs are the most common animals that will pop up, but you can also expect some well-behaved cats, a hamster or two, and a gecko on special occasions! If you’re doing this in the office, you’ll want to set clear rules to make sure things are safe and fun for all the people and animals involved. If you’re doing it over zoom, come up with a few questions people can answer about their pet during show and tell.
Read More: Best Swag Ideas for Pets
Team Outings and Retreats
If folks are slowly trickling back into a physical office, and you have developed some safety protocols to allow in person collaboration, consider arranging a outing or retreat somewhere to help remind people of the power of connection!
For something simple a park or nearby beach can be a great spot to gather outdoors. BBQs or picnics are great opportunities for team building activities or meaningful team talks to build up spirit and engagement. For offices where everyone is still WFH or spread out geographically, you can mimic a team outing by structuring a series of virtual field day activities and hang out sessions over the course of an afternoon.
Summer Friday Half Days
Summer Fridays are a beloved tradition, especially on the East Coast. The idea is that letting people off early on Friday allows them to get a headstart on weekend travel plans.
Even if not everyone is up for traveling these days, you can still offer half days on Fridays during the Summer. Clear policies about when it’s okay to leave the office (AKA sign off of Slack and email) will let people know what’s expected, and when they can begin to let loose. On that note, it’s also a great idea to organize some virtual happy hour ideas to create a social space for employees.
Wellness Program Initiatives
The summer means good weather, better moods and a new chance to engage in the wellness activities we’ve all been meaning to. Make it easy for your employees by expanding your organization’s wellness initiatives over the summer months!
This could mean a lot of things depending on whether you have already spent time developing a wellness program. If you have, consider ramping up efforts by offering wellness-themed gifts that can ship to people’s doors, or reactivating those digital fitness classes that are available to all employees! If you haven’t spent much time establishing any sort of wellness program at your office, the summer is as good of a time as any to begin! Start by checking out our piece on remote wellness initiatives!
Summer Education Benefits
Supporting employee education is becoming a more popular benefit with each passing year. While many companies have traditionally subsidized employee education with regards to the job they do, more and more employers are offering carte blanche education stipends that support their general education.
Over the summer is a great time to begin or expand on this initiative, as longer days and more vacation time provides ample opportunity for employees to get involved in the educational program they’ve been meaning to. Whether it’s for a local community college class, or a certificate program offered completely online, finding a way to help pay for and support continuing employee education is a great way to retain talent and build a healthy company culture.
Now that we’ve proven that working remotely is a viable option for many work situations, allow your teams to make the most of summer by allowing employees to work while they travel, staycation or generally move about the country.
This might mean being a bit more accommodating of hours, as folks in different time zones might have differing best times for meetings, and other collaborative events. Try to schedule things around people’s varying schedules, and encourage any social events (virtual happy hours, team building, etc.) to happen during times that work for everyone.
Read more: How to Attract and Retain Young Workers
What will you do to make this summer special and fun for your employees? Be sure to check out the rest of our articles about summer in the office here! If you have ideas for custom gifts or swag this summer, fill out the form below and someone from our team will be in touch to chat about your vision.