That’s the chorus of Kenny Chesney’s hit song “Summertime.” And while those might not be the words you’d use, and while the calendar says it isn’t summer quite yet, if you live in the United States, you pretty much know … it’s summertime!
But can you tell that in your workplace?
A generation or two ago, the working world was different. Then, even when you were indoors, you had a more clear sense of the time of the year.
But today… it is different.
Think about it: When you are in the office, the temperature is about the same any day of the year. Depending on your environment, you might work in mostly or completely artificial light. Yes, you know the weather when you come in and when you leave, but does the season of the year have any impact while you are at work?
There is a reason a song like I quoted at the start of this was a hit. We love summer! Sure there are songs about every season of the year, and there are special things about each one, but there is something about summer, isn’t there? What if we brought that “something” to work with us, or used that feeling and the advantages that summer can provide to make a difference in our work?
Here are six starter suggestions to help you do just that:
- Take a walk. Stuck on a problem, or need a break? Why not take a break by walking in the sun? You will get some exercise, open up your mind and likely come back with a fresh perspective and possibly a solution to your challenge or problem. If you can’t get away from your desk (it might be hard to do that if you are in a call center or manufacturing line, for example), take a walk on your lunch break. The exericise and the sun will do you good.
- Have a meeting outside. Remember in school when students begged the teacher or professor to have class outside? In my experience, the teacher gave a ton of reasons why you couldn’t do that. Ask yourself why you couldn’t have your meeting outdoors? I’ll bet you can’t find many justifiable reasons! It won’t work for every meeting situation, but give it a try when you can.
- Hold a walking meeting. Let’s put the first two bullets together. If your meeting is just two or three people working on an issue or discussing something, why not do it while taking a walk? It will change the dynamics of the meeting, likely for the better. It won’t work for all meetings, but when it does, you will love the change of pace and the fresh air. I often sit outside or walk outside when I’m on a conference call. If notes aren’t needed, I use my cell phone so I can get up out of my chair and change my scenery and perspective.
- Try a different schedule. There is more daylight in the summer, and there are lots of things that people want to do in the summer that they don’t or can’t do other times of the year. If possible, let people alter their schedule a bit. Maybe that is outside your ability to control or influence, but if you can, strongly consider it and you’ll boost morale and productivity across the board. Even if you are just thinking about your own personal schedule, are there ways to adjust it to take advantage of summertime? If so, do it!
- Have a cookout. Have an outdoor lunch, but instead of having it catered, treat it like you are at your own backyard cookout. Make it a chance for people to share the work, bring the food and enjoy each other’s company. Who knows, a business relationship might develop or a sticky business issue could be resolved between bites of a burger.
- Vacate for vacation. Most people take at least a bit of vacation during the summer. If you do, actually get away, at least from the electronic tethers even if you aren’t going far geographically. If you are the leader, encourage people to use the summer for a least a short getaway to refresh and revive.
Some people reading this in different parts of the world are far from summer, and some live in climates where the weather-related advice above could be done anytime of year. Regardless of your situation, when your weather is summer-like, try one or more of these tips to refresh your spirit, reinvigorate your energy, and put a little summertime in your workday.
Photo Credit: www.freeimages.com/photo/summer-1405218