- Encourage professional development opportunities such as training courses, conferences, and online courses.
- Promote collaborative projects between experienced and new employees to build camaraderie.
- Offer various entertainment options like games, puzzles, video games, and books/articles.
- Provide plenty of physical activity opportunities to reduce stress and boost productivity.
- Offer flexible work arrangements and set expectations for employees.
Workplaces can experience periods of downtime, whether between projects or during slower seasons. During these times, it’s essential to keep employees productive and motivated. This task can be challenging, but it’s essential to maintain morale and encourage creativity. This blog post will explore some strategies for keeping employees productive and entertained during downtime. Read on to learn how you can make the most of these periods.
1. Encourage Professional Development
During downtime, employees may have more time to pursue professional development opportunities. This could mean attending training courses or conferences, taking online courses, or reading industry-related books. Encourage employees to take advantage of these opportunities, and consider offering incentives for employees who complete specific courses or certifications.
You can also offer opportunities for employees to learn new skills and explore new topics. This could include pairing experienced employees with newer ones to get them up-to-speed or offering seminars on relevant subjects. You can even bring in outside experts to help employees grow their skills.
2. Promote Collaborative Projects
Downtime can be an opportune time for employees to collaborate on projects they may not have had time for during busier periods. Encourage team members to work together on projects that benefit the company, such as developing new marketing strategies or exploring new products or services. Collaborative projects can also help build camaraderie among employees and promote creativity.
Try to engage all employees in these projects, both experienced and new. This will help ensure that everyone contributes and can take away valuable lessons from the experience. Younger workers, in particular, can benefit from these projects and learn practical skills from their more experienced counterparts.
3. Provide Entertainment Options
Employees also deserve a break from work and could benefit from entertainment options during downtime. Consider providing access to various activities to keep their minds sharp and ready for work once the busy period returns. Here are some ideas:
Set up a game room where employees can play board games, video games, and card games. These activities can help employees bond and have some fun.
Puzzles are a great way to keep employees engaged. Offer various options, such as jigsaw puzzles and word searches. You can also invest in a Sudoku subscription, which can help employees stay sharp and focused with tricky number puzzles of various difficulties.
c. Video games
If you want to give employees a break from work, you can provide access to video games. This could include console or computer games that they can play independently or with peers. Just limit playing times and enforce other rules to ensure that work doesn’t suffer.
Provide access to a library of books, magazines, and articles to help employees learn more about their industry or explore new topics. Or you can offer engaging novels that they can read for fun.
4. Encourage Physical Activity
Physical activity can help reduce stress and boost productivity. Consider offering on-site fitness classes or a gym membership reimbursement program. Encourage employees to take breaks and engage in physical activity during downtime to help them recharge and refocus. You can also organize team sports and activities to foster camaraderie. This could include a weekly soccer or basketball game at the park.
5. Offer Flexibility
Employees may feel more engaged and productive when they have flexible work schedules. Consider offering flexible work arrangements during downtime, such as telecommuting or flextime scheduling. This can help employees maintain a work-life balance and reduce stress, increasing productivity.
When offering flexible work options, set clear expectations and communicate regularly with employees. You want them to know their flexibility is not an excuse to slack off on work. Commit to regular check-ins and set goals to ensure employees are still productive during their flexible hours. This will help maintain morale and keep everyone on track.
Downtime can be a challenging time for employees and employers alike. However, with some creativity and effort, employers can help keep employees engaged, productive, and entertained during these periods. Encouraging professional development, promoting collaborative projects, providing entertainment options, encouraging physical activity, and offering flexibility are all strategies that can help keep employees productive and entertained during downtime. By implementing these strategies, employers can maintain morale and productivity, even during slower periods.