Encouraging more time outdoors, from group team-building activities to educational work outings, will keep your team engaged and have a positive impact on the group dynamic.

This July, Inman’s editorial theme is Teams — what it takes to build and join one, how to optimize your team for summer 2020, and even when to consider leaving one. And if you’re not already a subscriber to our Teams Beat email newsletter, sent every Thursday, sign up now.

As the days get longer and the temperature rises, work ethic and attention levels are known to take a dip in the summer months. Studies have shown that workplace productivity drops in the summertime for a host of reasons.

Although it’s important to take breaks and encourage agents to take vacations and enjoy the best of the season, it’s crucial to keep your team engaged and motivated, too.

As we enter into the next chapter with COVID-19, use this momentum to accelerate your business forward, not fall into a summer lull. Here are three ways to keep your team focused and engaged during the summer months.

Make schedules flexible

Reevaluate your team’s schedule and structure for the summer months. Offering your team members some flexibility with their schedule can boost morale and motivate them to complete the projects at hand, especially because the team has been accomplishing so much while collaborating and working remotely in quarantine.

A flexible summer schedule might involve the team putting in an extra hour or two Monday through Thursday so they can end a few hours early on Friday and take advantage of the beautiful summer weather.

You might feel that giving the team a day or afternoon off during the summer sacrifices productivity and revenue, but research shows the opposite. It indicates that employees are in fact more productive, morale is higher, and turnover is reduced when there is flexibility or shorter work weeks.

In fact, according to NPR, Microsoft Japan cut the fifth workday, and it found that productivity went up by 40 percent; other companies have found a similar result.

Encourage outdoor activities

Getting your team outdoors for some fresh air and sunshine not only provides a break from the computer screen, but also can restore focus and provide a stress relief.

Even if the team is not working in the office together at this time, encourage team activities.

We recently held a 100-mile challenge through the Nike App that encouraged employees to get outside, get active, and engage with co-workers while working toward a common goal, no matter their location in the world.

Whether you start an incentive to get outside during lunch or align the business with active events in your neighborhood, encouraging health-focused activities will have a positive impact on the overall team dynamic.

Another fun way to keep engaged during the summer is to plan some team outings. If and when it is safe to do so, plan a morning where you visit your latest listings as a team, or plan a day to tour new homes coming online in your market.

This will be time well spent as the team educates itself on the latest inventory on the market and can better service your clients. This type of outing is an opportunity to learn something new and expand knowledge, and it also changes up the regular 9-to-5.

Set summertime goals

Whether these goals be focused on setting new sales targets or increased client outreach, set goals to be achieved on both an individual and team basis. This will keep the team driven and focused on their targets, with a little friendly competition and encouragement along the way.

Rewarding your team for going above and beyond this quarter will show appreciation for their hard work and dedication and motivate them to end the year strong.

This summer, evaluate how you can be more flexible when it comes to your team’s schedule, especially as we transition into next phases of business and are working through this very unique time in our lives.

Encouraging more time outdoors, from group team-building activities to educational work outings, will keep your team engaged and have a positive impact on the group dynamic. Have the team refocus goals for the summer, and by challenging each other, business will positively progress through the season and set the tone for the next quarter.

Mauricio Umansky is the founder and CEO of The Agency in Los Angeles. Connect with him on Instagram.

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