Four in five firms aren’t feeling the summer slow down

  • Managers in the South West and Wales are the most optimistic about productivity
  • However, managers in the North and the Midlands expect a decline in productivity

London, 3 August 2017 – With the latest statistics from the Office of National Statistics revealing that productivity declined 0.5% in Q1 20171, organisations are hopeful that long days and warmer weather won’t affect productivity this summer. According to research from leading recruitment specialist, Robert Half UK, four in five (80%) businesses predict that employee productivity will either stay the same or rise during the summer months.

The research also shows there are regional differences in opinions between the North and the South. Roughly a third (29%) of businesses in the North expect productivity to drop, compared to just over one in 10 in the South West and Wales (13%) and London and the South East (13%).


Number expecting productivity to rise

Number expecting productivity to stay the same

Number expecting productivity to decrease

South West and Wales




London and the South East
















The productivity drop off also seems to be more pronounced in larger businesses. Those with over 500 employees are more likely to experience a dip, with a quarter (25%) claiming that employees become ‘somewhat’ or ‘much less’ productive in the summer months. In contrast, just 17% of SMEs with less than 250 employees say the same.

“It remains to be seen whether businesses will be affected by the summer slump, but companies seem to be optimistic,” said Phil Sheridan, Senior Managing Director at Robert Half UK. “It’s a time of year where employees often take the opportunity to have a break, relax and recharge their batteries. But by planning ahead and considering whether skilled temporary staff need to be brought in to cover specific projects, organisations can minimise any disruption and maintain their productivity levels.’

Sheridan adds, 'The summer months also prove to be a timely reminder that employee engagement is crucial to productivity, so think of ways to reward your staff such as an early finish on Fridays, summer treats in the office or a more relaxed dress policy. Happy and productive employees ultimately benefit the bottom line.’

– ENDS –

Notes to editors

The annual study was developed by Robert Half UK and is conducted by an independent research firm.  The study is based on more than 400 interviews with hiring managers from companies across the UK, with the results segmented by size, sector and geographic location. 

1Labour productivity: Jan to Mar 2017

About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500. We have once again been named to FORTUNE’s “World’s Most Admired Companies®” list and remains the top-ranked staffing firm (February 2020). Founded in 1948, the company has over 300 offices worldwide providing temporary, interim and permanent recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, legal and administrative professionals. Robert Half offers workplace and jobseeker resources at and