Five Ways to Enjoy Summer Even While Working

Michele Warg
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For most professionals, the idea of a carefree summer break is a long-gone privilege, reserved only for schoolchildren. In reality, you must complete a full workday even when the sun beckons you to the beach. However, that does not mean you cannot enjoy summer even while on the clock. Here are a few ways to enjoy the summer while staying productive.

1. Find Another Way to Get to Work

If you normally drive to work, shake things up a bit by walking, biking, or taking mass transit, if distance permits. This will require you to leave the house earlier than you are used to, but getting outside before settling into the workday is a great way to elevate your mood and get a little exercise. If you decide to bike, make sure you have all the necessary gear to get you there safely, such as a helmet and elbow and knee pads.

2. Bring Nature Inside

Summer brings to mind all things green, like freshly mowed grass, lush trees and beautiful flowers. The typical office features bland walls, plain carpet and maybe an artificial plant in the corner. Upgrade your workday by bringing a little summer greenery to your desk. Try a small potted fern or other low maintenance blooming plant to add interest to your workspace and elevate your mood. Even on days you cannot make it outside, you will have a little green buddy to remind you life is happening all around you.

3. Dine Outside

Even the busiest workdays include lunch breaks. Take advantage of yours by taking it outside. Visit a deli or restaurant with ample patio seating. Bring a co-worker along to make it a social outing, or keep it solo if you just want to reflect and decompress. If you normally pack your lunch, try heading to the park and sitting on a bench or under a tree. Even just sitting outside the building on the steps is a nice way to get some fresh air and sunshine.

4. Have an Ice Cream Social

You are not the only one pining away for sand and sun. Chances are, your co-workers feel the same. Buy a box of ice cream bars for the office freezer and notify everyone that they can help themselves. On busy workdays, a quick ice cream break is a great pick-me-up if getting outside to enjoy summer is not an option.

5. Take a Short Vacation

A recent study by Expedia showed that Americans waste up to $34 billion in unused vacation time. If you have the days to spare, go ahead and take them. If a weeklong excursion is not feasible, try just taking one workday off just to explore your city. Visit a museum, play a little golf or just hang out at the pool.

These are all great ways to spice up your ordinary workday and bring a little outside summer fun inside. It is still important to take advantage of your paid vacation time and truly get away from the office. A day or two of quality downtime resets your gears and rejuvenates your motivation, making you an even more effective employee when you return.

Photo courtesy of Sura Nualpradid at



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  • Damian T.
    Damian T.

    Suppose a companies considered an employee's productivity rising over the long term due to less burnout. Bottom line appeal more after employees have recovered from high demand of output. Doing the work right the first time through mastery of the skills vs. mastery of higher outputs. Stretch the dollars invested in nurturing the workers vs. stretching the most out of employees. Employees need that summer break w/out their computer to log into. Well rested employees deliver greater ROI for investors from maintaining quality and service having time away from work. Companies rewarding workers via workplace incentives fails short b/c workplaces follow us on the lap or our hand. Worse yet if it's both. Many companies have caught on, but when faced w/ the question of keeping your position or looking for a new one the employee will tend to gravitate back to being the sheep for its sheppard(s). The obvious the bills. It's useful to refresh by walking away from the desk. Take the stairs for exercise and solitude to rethink you POA. Walk to work out split the commute by getting off the bus or subway earlier. Have a bike... Use it and lose the phone to disconnect for your health. Spend more time w/family as employers will be many and family are few. If you're happy so will be your employer.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Carrie thanks for that. It's always tough to keep your mind on work when all you want to do is get outside! But bringing the outside in and having a few fun company events can really help. It's a shame that your company stopped grilling out - even if only once a month. Do you have an employee suggestion box (or inbox)? Maybe you could submit a suggestion to bring it back. Of course having an ice cream treat is always good, too. Summer is winding down so quickly now so get your suggestions in now!

  • Carrie M.
    Carrie M.

    I've been trying this and it definitely makes you feel like you are living IN SUMMER and not just watching it go by. Sharing summer recipe ideas by bringing in samples works too. Our company used to grill out once a month during the summer months. That stopped, they added an occasional ice cream bonus treat from Culver's. Sweet.

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