Beat the (Red, White and) Blues: What to Do on Slow Days at Work

Things to Do During Slow Times at Work

The days before a holiday are perennially slow days at work, as some of your team members take off early and others begin to mentally check out.  

As the Fourth of July gets near, you may find your finance and accounting teams lacking focus, with visions of fireworks and barbecues dancing through their heads.

However, there’s work to be done before the long weekend starts on Friday and when everyone returns. So managers, to keep your teams productive and focused on the workplace, you may need to pull out all the leadership stops and provide some extra motivation. 

Here are five ways to keep your team productive on those inevitably slow days at work.

1. Encourage them to start new projects.

It’s tempting to put off beginning a new project right before a holiday. But why not suggest your teams go ahead and compile the materials they’ll need and create an outline of tasks? That way, when they hit the office after the weekend, they’ll have everything they need waiting on their desktops.

2. Make it an “Independence from Office Clutter Day.”

Another great way to tackle a slow day at work is to get the office in order. Your team could shred outdated stacks of paperwork, clean out the scariest desk drawers and organize that nightmare of a supply closet. Don’t forget about the most cluttered place in any office — the email inbox. It may be just the time to ask all staff members to archive or delete old messages. 

3. Embrace the pre-holiday spirit.

There’s bound to be plenty of distraction among your finance team, as everyone talks about their holiday plans. Give them a time and place to do just that so there’s less chance the excited chatter cuts into productivity. Order in lunch to keep a celebratory mood in the air, and take a moment for team bonding.

4. Have your staff set new goals.

Slow days at work are a great time to encourage your team to set new professional goals. Have them list their strengths and weaknesses, as well as where they’d like to see themselves in a few years. Later, use their findings to hold career path discussions during which you can, together, consider what professional development they’ll need to invest in to achieve the goals they’ve set.

5. Check in with your team.

When was the last time you checked in with your finance and accounting team to see if they were still enjoying their roles with your organization (and not thinking about leaving)? If it’s been awhile, now may be a good time to gauge their satisfaction. After all, retention is a major issue at the moment, as job openings increase and employers must compete more intensely for top talent. Make sure your staff members are happy, so they don’t start looking at those job postings.

Keep these tips on hand for any lagging day of the year, whether there’s a holiday around the corner or not. Slow days at work are bound to happen here or there, but if you’re prepared with ways to counter them, you and your team can complete some tasks you've all been putting off. 

How do you encourage your finance and accounting team to be productive on slow days at work? Share your tips in the comments.