Many people look forward to summer for a number of reasons: The weather is milder, and for parents, there's a two-month reprieve from the craziness that is homework and extracurricular activities.
But for many people with jobs, summertime can be a source of raging disappointment. After all, it's one thing to be stuck plugging away at a desk when it's frigid outside and there's not much to do, but it's harder to be cooped up in an office when the weather is fabulous and the beach seems to call your name on a regular basis.
If you've been known to suffer from the summertime blues at work, here's some good news: You don't need to spend the next eight weeks bemoaning the fact that you're missing out on the best season of the year. Instead, you can employ the following tactics to feel better.
1. Find creative ways to get outdoors
Just because you have to work doesn't mean you can't enjoy this wonderful thing called fresh summer air. If your employer is at all flexible, ask for a little leeway during the summer to experience the better weather. Conduct team meetings outside if there's a park close by to your office, or request permission to work from home once a week and set up shop on your porch or deck.
If neither is an option, schedule breaks in your day that allow you to escape the office and enjoy some sunshine. Make a point of getting out for lunch, or take a 15-minute walk in the morning and afternoon rather than stay locked indoors for eight hours straight. Doing so will give you a small sense of summer without killing your productivity.
2. Ask for summer Fridays
Not every company offers early dismissal on Fridays, but if you do your job strategically, you might manage to secure your own early exits. If you're a strong performer, ask your manager if you can work extra hours during the week so that you're able to leave the office a few hours ahead of schedule on Fridays in July and August. If doing so doesn't hurt your performance, your boss may be more than willing to comply.
3. Keep your job interesting
If you have no choice but to work all summer long, you can make your situation better by keeping your mind engaged. Take on new projects, learn new skills, or develop relationships with people at your company you've never really worked or interacted with before. Doing so will help you avoid getting bored, and the busier you are, the less time you'll have to focus on being bummed.
It's hard to spend your entire summer working knowing full well that there's fun to be had. If you really hate the idea of wasting away at an office during the summer, try banking your vacation days so that you're able to take off nice chunks of time in July and August. It's not the same thing as not working, but it's a reasonable compromise.