For anyone that is new to 9-5 work life, the idea of summer in the office is equivalent to the news that the sky is falling. No more hot days filled with the feeling of utter freedom and no more forgetting what day of the week it is because you’ve been swallowed up by the cloudless blue sky. The scary realisation that a good amount of the average office worker’s summer is spent indoors can be difficult to come to terms with. With no choice but to accept the dreaded office summer, I’ve come up with some tips to make staring out the window at a sunny, summer day a bit more bearable.
Plants, bright colours, books and beaches are all staples of summer. If you can’t spend much time outside, why not bring the defining details of the season to your office? Brighten up your desk with vibrant colours, decorate your desktop with flowers, and put up photos of relaxing scenery to make you less aware that your summer hours are ticking away indoors. Colours are also used as types of therapy, to influence mood: specifically, warm and bright tones to evoke feelings of calmness and joy.
Try bringing a book to work to read during a break. Reading can help you detach from reality for a while and take a mental vacation. Maybe some fiction or an inspiring self-help book to let the mind escape and form new perspectives.
Another way to align yourself with the summer vibe is to get creative with what you wear to the office. If you focus on giving your everyday workwear an extra oomph, it can replicate the feeling of getting dressed-up on holiday and lead to feelings of excitement and confidence. Most of the time, when one believes they look good, they feel better. Wearing bright colours and new styles will boost the general mood around the office and a few compliments here and there are guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
Socialising is a huge part of the summer, so find ways to keep up your social life inside and outside the office. Make time for chats with colleagues and go out for lunch or a walk with a friend. A way to make your indoor summer more manageable is to plan drinks after work or a picnic dinner in a park to catch the sunset. Maximize your time outside as much as possible without slacking too much on your work. If you’re able to do some writing outside, go sit on a bench and do it while embracing the sun. If you need to meet a client, sit at an outdoor café. Remember to take walks when you can, and if you are able to commute to work on foot or by bike, choose that over the sticky, sweaty tube. Another trick is to change your commute, maybe to something more scenic, or turn down a small street rather than staying on the main road.
Most companies have corporate social responsibility strategies that involve external organisations such as charities. During the summer, try to think of ways to work with your partner organisation that involve being outside. Walks, runs or outdoor challenges are all great examples of something an office can get into to raise money and to embrace the summer feeling.
It is also crucial to use some of your annual leave for weekend trips. If you split up your vacation days, you will have more to look forward to and it will provide a nice balance between work and play. Time management in the office is also key. Make sure you are focused and on schedule with work, so you do not end up having to stay late or come in early.
A working summer doesn’t have to be so bad, it’s all about mindset and strategically planning your day so that you can maximize the time spent outside. A lot of little changes can make a big difference, so adding tweaks to your daily routine and spicing up your daily habits can help to ensure that you soak up as much sun as possible.