The Productive Summer Break

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August 8, 2019

Liz Sebag-Montefiore


It’s summer but just because you are not working doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be thinking about your career. The summer break is a good time to catch up on your goals for the year and projects for the future; and to think about education or training you might want to undertake in the future.

The long summer break is a good time to work on your career plan as commitments to work and colleagues are less pressing. Use your downtime to undertake some research and gather information.

If you are not starting any new courses in the autumn then the summer is a good time to review your ongoing learning. Did the courses or training you took this year, so far, go well? Is there anything you would like to change or improve or add to your skillset? Acquiring relevant skills will add strength to job applications, while demonstrating your drive and enthusiasm and commitment to your career.

You might like to update your reading list too, 10Eighty recently published some suggestions for business books to read while on holiday.

Take a break

Working 24/7 is not healthy for either your business or personal life. Taking time off can be good rather than bad for productivity. Smartphones and portable devices make it all too easy to work from home or on holiday; put them aside and take a break. There’s a clear link between work-life balance and happiness.

Even if you have flexible working arrangements working life can be overwhelming so it’s important to make the most of your break. Maintaining a healthy relationship with work is crucial so do try to take a real break from work altogether. Whether that means sitting on the beach with the kids or visiting romantic ruins or stunning scenery alone, take time to recharge your batteries.

Personal and family commitments are very important and many employers now realise that their employees will be able to perform better at work if they have a good work-life balance. Make taking a proper holiday a priority.

Family time

Of course organising childcare during the long school holiday can be fraught; the amount of leave employers allow doesn’t match school holidays and for working parents the summer break can be challenging and expensive. That said, children too need a break from the routines and demands of school.

Workplace school holiday programmes for staff’s children, and affording staff the ability to work remotely or part-time during school holidays can make a huge difference. If line managers hold regular conversations with their team about the holiday season and demonstrate an awareness of the pressures on working parents, they can plan the work schedule to benefit all workers. It’s a good idea to offer reciprocal flexibility for childfree employees who may also want flexibility but are happy to holiday in term-time.

At 10Eighty we think employers should be open-minded about flexible working and alternative contract arrangements that allow their people to organise their time effectively. Employers should support employees by providing flexibility such as flexible hours, apart from anything else, we know that autonomy in organising their daily work and is a primary contributor to employee engagement.

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