August Is the Cruelest Month
Or the summer’s best, depending on your point of view
The vast majority of a recent Women In Optometry Pop-up Poll said that August is busier than average, especially compared to other summer months. June tends to be average or a little slow, and July tends to heat up a little.
Respondents to the poll noted that they use the slower times of year to the best advantage. More than 71 percent said that they use the time to give the office a deep cleaning, while 50 percent said that they use the time to begin the implementation of a new service or product. Nearly 40 percent use it for staff training time or in-depth staff meetings. A few respondents also added that they use the time to catch up on their own paperwork and social media strategies—or take some time off.
Summertime can be a challenge for ODs who are parents of school-aged children, as 82 percent of the respondents are. Asked to respond how much juggling a summer schedule requires—with 1 being much more juggling and 5 being that summer is an easier schedule. Slightly more than one-third of the respondents noted that there’s not much change, but 47 percent rated the juggling required as either a 1 or 2 on the scale. Nearly 18 percent said that summertime schedules are easier.
A large percentage—81 percent—of parent ODs said that they rely heavily on summer day camps, educational programs and sports camps to cover the care gap. The next most common response was the 42 percent of the respondents said they use the time for family time and vacations. Thirty-five percent said that their spouse or another adult is available more regularly in the summer to help with child care, and 27 percent have older children on whom they rely to help out.
Twenty percent hire more babysitters to cover time that kids are home, and 12 percent put their kids to work in the office some of the time. Another 4 percent said that they occasionally need to bring their children to the office.
A majority of the respondents, 61 percent, said that they do not find it more difficult to manage vacation and time off requests from the staff during the summer, but 39 percent said it is more challenging.