Paul Lawton, general manager of SMB at O2 Business outlines how businesses can avoid disruptions this summer
What to do this summer? It’s a question I often ask myself at this time of the year when it comes to holiday planning. And it’s a question you should be asking yourself both on a personal and professional level, especially if you’re a small business owner. With the sun starting to make more of an appearance, it’s a good time to review your seasonal business strategy.
Summer can be a disruptive period for many small and medium sized businesses with over a third (35 per cent) of 30-64 year olds taking their annual leave between July and August. Employee productivity during the warmer months can also suffer, with research revealing that over half (52 per cent) of UK employees admitting to working fewer hours. Here’s how you can minimise the disruption.
With the evenings getting lighter and school holidays nearly upon us it’s important to show an understanding of employees’ commitments and provide a way of working that is practical and convenient for both them and the business. Mobile technology using cloud based software such as Microsoft Office 365 will allow employees to have access to all of the relevant documents no matter where they are. Fast 4G mobile services are cheap and readily available and will ensure your employees have a good work/life balance and remain productive.
Encourage employees to take a worry-free vacation
A happy workforce is a productive workforce. Recent research has shown that happy employees are 12 per cent more productive, so it’s important to encourage your employees to enjoy their time off. It may seem too simple, but don’t underestimate the power of health and wellbeing.
Think about scalability
For some, the change in season has a more fundamental impact on business. While some industries will boom in the summer, others with slow down considerably. If the summer is a slow season for you, having the ability to make technology work around the ups and downs have a huge impact. O2’s Business Essentials tariff, for example, gives you flexibility and the ability to tailor your data plan so that no matter how many employees you have, they will be equipped with the appropriate tools that allow them to work efficiently.
The summer months can be a difficult time for business owners. But they also present a fantastic opportunity to implement small technology and wider working initiatives that will ultimately help you in the long run. This will give you the peace of mind to enjoy the season, no matter what the weather.