As you’ve probably noticed, summer has arrived! And we’re sure you’ve also noticed that your office is still operating as if it’s not beautiful outside. You’re stuck inside, staring at a stock image of a beach as your desktop background while your social media feeds get filled with photos of tropical getaways, Summer Friday activities, and tan lines.
While you can definitely continue daydreaming of your next escape, you can also take matters into your own hands and learn to enjoy the season from indoors. While my tips and tricks won’t land you that summer glow, they’ll definitely help you scroll through Instagram without feeling (quite so) jealous.
Brighten Your Desk
It’s no secret that colors affect our mood, environment, and work ethic. So, why not incorporate the colors of the beach into your workspace? May I suggest starting with a poster or a mini desk top sandbox or even a fish tank if you’re in the mood to go all out?
Plan a Frozen Treat Happy Hour
If your office doesn’t participate in Summer Fridays, suggest starting an (alcohol-free) happy hour on Fridays to enjoy some ice cream sundaes (or slightly less-messy ice cream sandwiches). The only thing that doesn’t work for this? Bringing your guilt! Taking an hour away from work will actually make you more productive . So, put down your computer, and pick up a scoop.
Switch Up Your Lunch
BBQs are great for the summer, so leave the boring old sandwiches at home and grab a hot dog or burger for lunch. Bonus points if you start an indoor BBQ tradition with your co-workers! Rather than firing up the grill, you just need everyone to agree to bring a key ingredient: buns, hot dogs, ketchup, you know the drill.
Get Outside Every Day
A little fresh air can do your mind and body wonders, so step outside for some breaks during the day. It’s a simple trick that will score you some Vitamin D and improve your efficiency. Can you say win-win?
Make Your Schedule More Summer-Friendly
If possible, start coming in an hour earlier so you can actually head out at a reasonable hour and enjoy the late night sunshine. (Because it wasn’t so long ago that it was dark at 4 PM.) Or, put the bulk of your work or meetings on your schedule earlier in the week to allow you to duck out on Friday afternoons without missing anything important.
Use Your Lunch Breaks Differently
Eat outside instead of at your desk, bring your lunch so that you can use your break to get a quick mani-pedi, or spend those 30 minutes reading a book at the park near your office. Feeling more ambitious (and have a bit more time)? Work out! From walking around the neighborhood to taking a short class to jumping in the local gym’s pool, it’s possible to be active in the middle of the day without getting behind.
Bring summer sports to your office! While I don’t recommend throwing a frisbee around electronics, there’s no reason you can’t take 10 minutes to toss one around with your co-worker outside in the parking lot. Or, if your office has the spare room (and your co-workers understand the difference between tossing a beanbag and torpedo-ing it), you can easily play a quick game of cornhole.
The line in the sand (too soon?): You don’t have to envy your traveling friends during the summertime. Incorporate your favorite parts of the season into your office space to help you enjoy the warm months while you’re still trapped indoors.