Balancing act: In summer months, search for vacation balance

Published: Tuesday, June 10 2014 8:00 a.m. MDT

I try to be a good example in this way, although I probably still spend a little too much time checking work email and virtually peeking in on projects while I'm out of the office. That's one aspect of building work-life balance that I'm still trying to perfect.

The other thing I need to think about as a manager is how to keep my team members motivated and on-task during the summer months when they probably wish they were anywhere but in Cubeville.

Another press release, this one from Robert Half Technology, had a few suggestions to help managers in this regard.

First, the release proposed that organization is one key to success. "With teams often covering responsibilities for vacationing coworkers, it’s important to plan ahead for time off," the release said. "A shared calendar will do the trick. Team members will be able to anticipate the heavier workload and can better manage their time to complete extra projects."

My team started using an online shared calendar a little more than a year ago, and it's been extremely helpful.

The next tip from Robert Half Technology was to "step up communication" during the summer months, especially for employees who work remotely. "In addition to outlining expectations, consider more frequent check-ins; ask for reports highlighting completed tasks and schedule mandatory face-to-face updates, whether virtually or in person," the press release said.

I think managers should always make expectations clear and communication frequent for telecommuters, regardless of the season. But I guess I can see why this would be especially important given summer's more unsettled schedules.

Robert Half Technology also suggests that managers ask workers to "do something different," especially if their teams have slower work days during the summer.

"Encourage employees to use the time to tackle to-do lists, research new projects and brainstorm fresh ideas," the release said. "Hopefully they’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and as a result, be more productive."

Finally, the release suggested offering employees a bit more flexibility during the summer — especially on Fridays. "That way, employees can enjoy their weekend a bit early and hopefully return to work feeling recharged."

I think that's a great idea and one that would give a net benefit to both workers, who would be more happy and rested, and the company, which should see an increase in productivity from those smiling, energetic employees.

I'm going to implement some of these suggestions with my team in the months to come, and hopefully they'll lead all of us to a productive and fun summer.

Now if I could only get similar tips for that mowing problem.

Email your comments to kratzbalancingact@gmail.com or post them online at deseretnews.com. Follow me on Twitter at gkratzbalancing or on Facebook on my journalist page.

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