With the bank holiday weekend approaching its end, many employees will be enjoying a final few hours of a well-earned extended break to help them rest and recharge.
With the events of the past 18 months, it has arguably never been more crucial for employees and HR to properly relax and recuperate so that they are ready to hit the ground running when they return for a new working week.
But while some employees will be relaxing on the sofa, going for walks or pottering around in the garden, others will have to continue working throughout the bank holiday.
For those that will be working, either for all or part of the three-day weekend, it is crucial that employee engagement and productivity doesn’t take a hit.
As such, HR Grapevine has collated several tips for helping staff successfully navigate a bank holiday weekend.
Leave your ‘home office’
In pre-coronavirus times, it was easy to walk out of the office before the bank holiday and leave anything relating to work behind.
Yet, with so many people continuing to work from home, getting this separation between personal and professional life is more difficult to achieve.
To ensure that employees can properly switch off over the bank holiday weekend, it is crucial that they tidy away anything relating to work – whether this is laptops, notepads, work phones or papers – so that they can close the door on their dedicated office area, or even move away from the coffee table that they normally work from.
In a previous interview with HR Grapevine, Hayley Randall, People Development Manager at ICD Property, said that this can help employees to separate personal and professional life.
In addition to this, she alluded that if employees see leaders engaging in practices like this, it gives “further validation it is supported and encouraged”.
Show appreciation to staff
While it may sound obvious, showing appreciation to staff and thanking them for their hard work is a good way to keep staff engaged and productive during this time.
With data from Socialcast finding that 69% of staff would work harder if their efforts were better appreciated, this could make all the difference.
And there are lots of ways that employers and HR can go about appreciating staff members.
For example, employers could offer staff an extra day off at another point in the year, send them a small gift in the post or even just send them a simple ‘thank you note’ to recognise their hard work.
Elsewhere, some organisations have come up with entirely unique ways to show appreciation for their staff.
In fact, the HR consultancy firm Reward Gateway launched a ‘Thank You Festival’ earlier this year that featured bands, video messages of appreciation from its leadership team and ways for co-workers to chat in real time.
Speaking on the initiative, Catrin Lewis, Head of Global Engagement and Internal Communications at Reward Gateway, said that the firm “wanted to create a moment of gratitude, celebration and connection for our people”.
Relax dress codes
Dress codes have become less of a hot topic over the past few months but, with scores of businesses bringing their workers back to the office, on a temporary basis at the very least, HR teams should consider relaxing dress codes to help people feel more comfortable if they have to work a bank holiday.
In fact, a study from Stormline found that 61% of employees are more productive when workplace dress codes are relaxed.
Read more from us
LADbible Group & Joules | HR experts reveal how to support working parents in school holidays
In addition to this, 61% of jobseekers in 2017 said that they would have a negative perception of any employer that enforced a dress code, Recruitment International reported.
Organise after-work activities
After a busy day at work, it is important that staff have something to look forward to at the end of it.
As such, HR and employers could look to organise after-work activities such as a virtual drink or trivia contest. This could be a good way to keep employees motivated during the day.
With many employees cooped up indoors in light of the pandemic, data has shown that employees have missed the social interactions with co-workers.
For example, previous research from CIPHR found that 51% are excited about after-work drinks with colleagues when they are able to return to work.
Therefore, hosting fun after-work activities could be a good way to keep staff motivated throughout the bank holiday.