As the mercury rises, so too does employee productivity, new Robert Half study shows


Around three in five managers expect employee productivity to rise during the summer months, according to research commissioned by specialist recruiter Robert Half.

The survey of 460 hiring managers from small, medium and large companies across Australia found that a majority expect their staff to be “somewhat more productive” or “much more productive” (58%) throughout Summer, while a further 32% believe employee productivity will remain unchanged.

Just one in ten managers expected their staff to be “somewhat less productive” (9%) or “much less productive” (1%) – a drop from 2015, when a Robert Half commissioned a study, where two in five managers (21%) expected a productivity loss during Summer due to employees taking annual leave.

State by state, managers from NSW were most likely to believe employee productivity will rise during Summer (70%), followed by those in Western Australia (64%) and Queensland (52%). Conversely, more than one in two Victorian managers (54%) did not believe their staff would be more productive during the hotter months.

Nicole Gorton, Director of Robert Half Australia told Dynamic Business that expectations of increased productivity over Summer were due to a combination of “great sunny weather” and employees taking leave at the end of the previous calendar year.

“Hard working professionals are able to ‘set back the clock’ on all aspects of their life, from personal to professional, at the end of the year and start the new year with a fresh work ethos with long-term benefits for their employer,” she said. “This can include new ideas on how best to prioritise their workload, how to become more efficient and how to make the most beneficial impact on their company.

“To revitalise their staff, employers should encourage annual leave and holidays over the summer months to coincide with perfect weather.

“Managers who are concerned about any potential loss of productivity over the summer months due employees taking annual leave also have the option to bring in temporary workers to maintain business operations, continue to meet deadlines and complete projects, without increasing permanent headcount.”