We've all been there; it's Friday, lunch has finished and you're feeling more than a little distracted. Your productivity slumps as you start thinking about what the weekend has in store, or maybe just the lie-in you'll enjoy on Saturday morning.
This is a worrying situation for many managers, as it can mean a massive drop in efficiency and could potentially cost the business serious money in lost time. So how do you stop employees from switching off too early after a long week?
Focus on achievements
The end of the week is a fantastic time to celebrate the achievements of teams or even an entire department. This can be with a team meeting where the accomplishments of the week are discussed, as well as any potential obstacles that could arise in the near future, or by giving out a certain prize.
It doesn't have to be a financial reward, as most of the time just a bit of recognition will do the trick, but you could always get a bottle of wine or box of chocolates as a small sign of your gratitude.
Plan a brainstorm
The monotony of day-to-day work activities can get a little too much come Friday afternoon, so scheduling something structured like a brainstorm can be a great way to keep employees engaged. It'll break up the working day and you can always bring drinks and snacks along to really get your team behind the session.
Think about stress breaks
A traditional working environment is now a thing of the past in many industries, with table tennis tables, dart boards and chill-out areas all becoming commonplace.
If your employees are working solidly from 9am on a Monday morning until Friday, it's no surprise that they get a little burnt out towards the end of the week. Think how your working environment could better allow them time away from their desk or five to ten minutes of respite. In the long run, you'll find your teams are much more productive after a short time to de-stress.
Allow flexible working
People are less likely to burn out if you give them the freedom and autonomy to choose their own working hours and location. This makes it easier for them to balance work and home life, helping to ensure that they are fully present when they are in the office or working from home. Flexible working can be a fantastic tool to boost employee retention as well, helping individuals see your business as one that supports a good work-life balance.
Make Friday afternoon a highlight
Instead of having Friday afternoon as the last hump to get over until the weekend, make it something that employees welcome. You can do this by having an industry-relevant quiz, allowing drinking after a certain time, having one employee act as DJ for the afternoon as they pick the office music, or get everyone to bring food in.
It can make this time a period where employees feel valued in the workplace and view their employer as one that understands them. This can mean they are even more productive at this time of the week than any other, which is something any company would welcome.
Any of these ideas can be a great way to keep employees engaged in the workplace throughout the week, especially as Friday afternoon approaches.