Navigating the summer holidays as a business owner

Summer can present many challenges for business owners, but it’s really important that you make time for your own break and create the conditions for everyone to enjoy some time off and come back refreshed. Chloe Carey our HR Advisor has put together ten tips to keep your business running smoothly this summer

  1. Make sure your employees are booking holidays. Yes, you need to keep your business running – but you also want your workforce to be rested, happy and productive. The summer is an ideal time to remind them to plan their leave now instead of cramming it in at the end of the year.
  2. Be clear on the rules about unauthorised summer-related absence due to hot weather or sporting events if that’s a common issue.
  3. Understand how to respond to holiday requests fairly if there are lots of other people who want to take time off at the same time.
  4. Think about changing the dress code in warmer months to give employees some flexibility
  5. Host some fun summer team events to build engagement and bring people together. Remember to share photos and a write up on your social media channels to raise awareness of your employer brand
  6. Consider introducing more flexible work schedules during the summer to allow your team more time with family – early starts and finishes or working extra hours during the week to allow a short Friday
  7. Discourage the temptation to work during annual leave by reminding colleagues (and yourself!) to leave detailed handovers before they jet off.
  8. Encourage people to turn off emails and work messaging apps on smart phones during their leave, try to do the same yourself.
  9. Agree a professional format for your Company’s Out of Office messages, to include providing an alternative contact while away, and details of when you will be back. You can suggest something in keeping with your company’s tone and style or keep to this simple template: “I’m on annual leave until [add date]. In my absence please contact [add name] via [add email address and/or phone number]. I will reply to your email when I return”.
  10. Make sure you enjoy your summer, take a well-deserved break and rejuvenate. You will be no use to your loved ones or the team at work if you are stressed and burnt out.


Chloe Carey has worked with a wide range of businesses to introduce or review HR policies and procedures. If you have any questions relating to HR for SMEs please get in touch.