Tips for Managing the Summer Vacation Rush

How to avoid the summer slump

For many American workers, the summer months often consist of long weekends and family vacations and bring scheduling headaches as managers try to balance employee time-off requests. Without proper planning, summer can easily leave offices sparse or full of unmotivated employees.

Here are a few time-tested guidelines businesses should consider implementing to avoid working in an empty office this summer:


Clearly articulating and establishing expectations and policies regarding time-off may help eliminate frustration and confusion when employees request vacation days. In the absence of an established policy, employees may plan to take vacation at the last minute or even the same day, leaving teams understaffed and overwhelmed. To avoid this, managers should distribute written policies to every employee in advance of the summer season, detailing project deadlines, vacation day allowances and advance notice requirements. 


While it remains important to meet project deadlines and complete assignments on time, encouraging a little fun in the workplace can keep employees engaged and help boost positive energy in the office, even amid low staffing levels. Planning group events where employees can freely talk about life outside of work or upcoming vacations may help overcome the summer slump. Activities that embrace the summer season, such as an ice cream social or company cookout may also foster employee engagement.


For many companies, business often does not slow during the summer season. As office staffing is often light during this time, managers may consider implementing half-day Fridays to allow employees a chance to rest. This allowance many free up extra time for employees to spend with family and friends. Since this option may not be feasible for every business, managers may consider allowing employees to work remotely on other days.


As many employees utilize the summer season for travel with their families, businesses may find that conflicting vacation plans hamper office productivity. As it is feasible due to work schedules and demands, managers should consider encouraging employees to take longer vacations during this season to give them a chance to recharge and refocus to prepare for the next busy season. Establishing an office calendar to view approved vacation time may help prepare for client deadlines and projects while a team member is out of the office.

It is important to determine the needs of a business and what works best for the culture of a specific office. Summer has potential to provide employees a chance to spend time with families and enjoy a break to reenergize, ultimately bringing more productivity and success to a company long-term.

Niki Jorgensen is a manager of HR services for Insperity, a trusted advisor. The company provides an array of human resources and business solutions designed to improve business performance. Insperity® Business Performance Advisors offer the most comprehensive suite of products and services available in the marketplace. Insperity delivers administrative relief, better benefits, reduced liabilities and a systematic way to improve productivity through its premier Workforce Optimization® solution. Additional company offerings include human capital management, payroll services, time and attendance, performance management, organizational planning, recruiting services, employment screening, financial services, expense management, retirement services an insurance services. Insperity business performance solutions support more than 100,000 businesses with over 2 million employees. With 2017 revenues of $3.3 billion, Insperity operates in 68 offices throughout the United States. For more information, call 800-465-3800.

Categories: Management & Leadership