It’s that time of year again – vacations are coming to an end, students are headed back to class, and summer is officially over. As deadlines that seemed so far away come hurtling around the corner, and as business picks back up, there’s never been a better time to focus on office organization. Here are a few things you can do to tackle the fall head-on, and get your office back up to speed.
OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW
It may sound like a cliché, but there’s nothing like a tidy office to give your employees a clean slate. By encouraging your team to set aside the same morning to clear out the clutter, recycle old papers and wipe down desks and monitors, you’ll foster a sense of collaboration, and cause minimal disruption by getting things tidy in one single sweep. When everyone clears at the same time, items can be swapped and returned to original owners more easily, there’s an open forum to ask questions and find out who things belong to, and it turns a boring, mundane task into something social. Provide employees with desk tidies and pin boards to personalize their space while keeping everything organized. Create communal storage spaces and encourage employees to decorate different areas. And, once everything is finished, reward your employees with a fun lunch afterwards – cleaning gives you an appetite, after all.
As work begins to pick up after the summer break, now is the perfect time of year to synch up calendars and schedule regular weekly catch-ups with individual team members. It’s a fantastic opportunity to mentor junior team members, check in on pressing projects, and provide ongoing feedback to make sure you’re getting the best out of everyone.
TAKE A FIELD TRIP
Once everyone is back in the office, it’s the perfect time to get everyone out of the office! Take advantage of all those well-rested brains and get out of the office for a team-building day. It doesn’t have to involve “trust falls” or raft building – there are plenty of team away-day activities that can be intellectually nourishing for all involved. If you have a creative team, try heading to a gallery or bookshop, and then regrouping in a nearby café to discuss creative challenges that you’re facing at work. If you work in sales, pay a visit to a personality analyst, and have everyone learn about dealing with different personality types (including their own) and body language cues. And if you work in any high-pressure corporate environment, try a high-octane adventure day to get the endorphins flowing and relieve some stress ahead of the busy fall season.
Summer is a popular migration time for professionals, and so the chances are, your own team got a few new members over the last few months. To help welcome them to the team, host a fall gathering at the office – whether it’s a company-wide lunch, intimate team breakfast, or simply drinks and snacks at the end of the day. Try running a few ice-breaker games or have the newbies introduce themselves, so that everyone can welcome them to the team and get to know the new faces.
When employees are battling the ‘post summer slump’, it’s easy for a general sense of lethargy to overtake the office, and people pick up bad habits. Now that everyone’s back after a well-earned rest, they’ll be more receptive to new initiatives and ideas. Try organizing monthly ‘town hall’ meetings where one employee from the office is nominated as ‘guest speaker’, and talks about a current project or explains a little more about their role within the business. Or schedule a regular all-company breakfast meeting where the senior executive team updates everyone on company progress and successes.
Want more ideas for how to motivate your team this summer? Contact us today!