How to make the most of Summer spent at work

Summer is officially here. It’s August and most of the children are off school and families are jetting away for some more consistent sunshine than what’s available here in the UK. However, not everyone goes away on holiday every year. Some people have to spend their Summers stuck at work – but it’s not always as bad as it sounds. There are plenty of things you can do to utilise your time spent in the office or wherever you work; even if most of your colleagues are currently away.

summer

Do everything outside

Do you have a laptop so you can work remotely? If so, work outside! Have your meetings outside – or at the very least have your lunch outside. Not only will you get some much needed vitamin D into your system, you’ll feel a lot less like you’re spending your time ‘at work’ – it’ll be a lot more enjoyable to be away from your desk. If you can’t work remotely, then perhaps see if you can have regular breaks to take a quick 5 minute walk every now and then.

Book something

Having something to look forward to makes your time spent at work a lot more worthwhile. So what if you don’t have a Summer holiday pending – maybe you can have an Autumn/Winter break to look forward to or a few days out to the beach or the city. Have a look at some deals online; you may be surprised with what you find. Try something you’ve never done before!

If you’re not going away in the Summer, choose an off-peak time of year to go away. The deals will be cheaper and you may get more choice depending on the weather of where you want to go. Avoid half terms and Christmas/Easter holidays.

Plan a work outing with your colleagues

If you get along well with your colleagues, plan an outing with them that you can all enjoy together. Whether it’s a lunch break at a nice restaurant or something more lively after work, it’ll break up the monotony of ‘same old, same old’ and make the Summer season feel more relaxed. People generally tend to be more chilled out during the Summer months; whether they’re at work or not – so take advantage of the mood and set something up.

Make plans

Try to have something to do after work at least three days in your working week. Going home every day and doing the same thing day in day out won’t give you anything to look forward to and you’ll probably go home dreading work the next day. Check out the local outdoor swimming pools, a BBQ, drinks in a pub garden or bar, or maybe just a relaxed evening walk with someone. Any time that you’re spending not at work is your time. Make sure you do something with it before the weather turns nasty again. The couch will always be there come Winter. Take advantage of your weekends too.

Change your morning and evening routine

In the spirit of change, have you tried waking up an hour or so earlier every morning before work? The sun’s out and you may naturally wake up earlier anyway. Rather than getting up and immediately getting ready for work, spend that extra free time doing something you love. Weather it’s exercising, reading, playing computer games or enjoying the sunshine outside – split your day up even more this way. Can you start work earlier and finish earlier? This way, you can make your after-work plans a lot more exciting and you’ll have extra time to enjoy them.

Get to work a different way

Can you cycle to work or take public transport and walk? Take advantage of the great weather (and getting up earlier) to change up the way you travel to and from work. If you don’t drive, you can go with some colleagues for after-work pub garden drinks. If you haven’t caught the train in a while, change things up. If you have to drive to work, try driving a different route during the Summer as traffic tends to be lighter.

Make it an excuse to network

You won’t be the only one in the office this Summer (although it may feel like it). Have you looked online to see if any events in your industry are being held? Summer can be a quiet time of year for most workplaces so it’s a great excuse to hold and attend networking and training events. Have a look online and get something booked in the diary. When the work picks up again you’ll have loads of new knowledge and it can only propel your career prospects in the long term.

Summer doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom for those of us who don’t get to enjoy a holiday abroad. There are lots of great activities on our doorsteps. Working during the Summer won’t burn you out either if you pace it and take it easy. If you have a pressurised job, make sure you still use your holiday to make a two day weekend into a four day one. Even if you do nothing for those days, it’ll give you some extra relaxation time, which is key when you can’t go on a beach!

Do you have any tips for enjoying the Summer season at work? Send them in to etj.editor@theiet.org.  

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