Summer Slowdown is still a reality say finance leaders

23 July 2015
  • Lost productivity and less managerial direction due to annual leave a concern for nearly half (48%) of finance leaders
  • A quarter (25%) of finance leaders believe that commercial activity slows down in the summer holidays
  • The summer months offer vital employee benefits to relax and recharge the batteries

London, 23 July 2015 – The summer slowdown is still alive and well in the UK. Yet while the summer break is advantageous and can bring heightened motivation and morale for employees, the majority (87%) of finance leaders say it has a negative impact on their business, finds new research1 from leading recruitment specialist Robert Half UK. Thirteen per cent of finance leaders said that the summer slowdown would not have any negative impact on their business.

The biggest impact is caused by annual leave (48%), with senior leaders attributing it to ‘less managerial direction’ for the team, with multiple senior leaders away from the office on holiday (35%) and lost productivity (13%). While a quarter (25%) say that commercial activity will slow down, a further 14% say that their workforce is less motivated during the summer months.  

Phil Sheridan, UK Managing Director of Robert Half, commented: “Although it can feel that business never stops, the summer months bring a great opportunity for UK workers to take a break, unwind and recharge their batteries. In the long run, businesses and employees benefit greatly from making the most of the summer slowdown as individuals who take regular breaks are known to be more motivated, have higher morale and are more productive on their return to work.

“Although it is clear that the majority of companies across the UK are impacted by the seasonal slowdown, with some advance planning the negative affect to businesses of employees taking their summer breaks can be alleviated. Many businesses looking to maintain productivity levels over the summer months are turning to temporary and interim professionals to help manage workloads and keep critical projects on track.”

Robert Half offers five recommendations for companies to ensure their teams can enjoy stress-free holidays:

  • Set up a team planning day: this means tasks can be divided between the team when employees are on holiday.  It enables every employee to know his or her responsibilities and schedule them in advance.
  • Be prepared: it is important to clarify expectations and deadlines. Clear agreements with respect to all tasks are needed to better manage the additional workload.
  • Provide support: by relying on temporary and interim workers during the summer months organisations can meet deadlines for the most urgent projects and daily tasks, but also ensure that permanent employees are not overloaded.
  • Allow some flexibility: employees who are given additional flexibility in the period just before their holiday will be more inclined to make additional efforts to complete their tasks on time.
  • Encourage employees to take all their entitled holidays: every team member has the right to a minimum number of holidays and it is important to encourage employees to take them.  Employees who take all of their holidays are generally more satisfied with their jobs and are more productive throughout the year.

-ENDS-

Notes to editors

1 The annual study was developed by Robert Half UK and is conducted by an independent research firm.  The study is based on more than 200 interviews with senior finance executives from companies across the UK, with the results segmented by size, sector and geographic location.

About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500 and #1 in our industry on FORTUNE® magazine’s “World's Most Admired Companies” list (2015). Founded in 1948, the company has over 340 offices worldwide providing temporary, interim and permanent recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, and administrative professionals. Robert Half offers workplace and job seeker resources at roberthalf.co.uk and twitter.com/roberthalfuk.