Maybe it's not official because the summer solstice is a couple of weeks away, but once June arrives - it is summertime in just about everyone's eyes.
Summertime is a tricky season at the office. The usual office dilemmas that can increase work stress include:
- scheduling around summer hours, summer vacations, long weekends, and the three holidays (Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day)
- when executives are out of the office and unavailable, but decisions need to be made
- when colleagues are out of the office and work files need to be found, slack needs to be picked up, and you realize just how much more effort you put into your job
- it's wonderfully warm outside (possibly/probably hot), but the facilities guy keeps the thermostat set at "freezing" instead of "comfortable"
- co-workers who do not understand the difference between summer professional style and summer beachwear
- when someone hums the official "song of the summer" and it gets stuck in your head, but not in a good way
During the months of June, July, and August - work has to be completed and with the issues mentioned above, it can feel more stressful. What can you do to help the situation? Here are a few suggestions:
Look at the time-off calendar and try to foresee some potential issues that might come up while someone is out:
- Do you know if their files are in a place where you can get to them if needed?
- Is their work complete - or are you going to need to finish something while they are out?
- Are there any decisions or information that you need before they leave?
- Is there a project deadline that will need an additional resource (gasp!) to ensure that things are completed in a timely manner with good quality? OR can the schedule be adjusted to help the workload?
Also - if YOU are going to be out of the office during the summer - enhance your reputation at work by providing your work peers with answers to the questions above and leave your workspace as tidy and easy to navigate as possible.
Dress in layers.
Maybe the chunky sweater that lives on the back of your chair is cute, but maybe it looks a little too heavy for the season / a little too well worn / or possibly downright ratty. (Sorry!) Take a critical look at that sweater and decide if you should invest in something new to elevate your look at the office while staying comfortable. As for those who might need some summer workstyle help, be genuinely kind to them. Hopefully your good style decisions might inspire them to try to look better as well. Just remember, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Enjoy the season!
Try to be as productive and efficient as possible so you can play more outdoors and stress less. Do things to recharge and refresh yourself mentally so you are more engaged when working:
- find a good beach (& wear sunscreen)
- volunteer for a cause you care about
- eat good (for you) food
- climb a gorgeous mountain (carefully)
- choose a bright or white color for your pedicure
- travel to a place you are really excited about
- update the shades of your lip gloss and hair color
- go for that new hairstyle that would be SO super cute on you
- go visit friends or family
BTW - do your professional self a favor and really focus on being productive and efficient because the summer season is a great time to show off your industry knowledge, skills, and value. If things happen to slow down - invest that time in some online training. Always be thinking of ways you can prove that you are ready for your next promotion. Leadership loves to promote people who deserve it - so this is a great season to highlight yourself by having an attitude of excellence.
Go get 'em, tiger!