I feel like I can’t have been the only person who began this week by saying, “Wait. What happened to June?” In fact, I’m still not really sure what happened to May. But whether or not we can believe it, it is July 3, and we are officially 12 days into summer.
It can be hard for us adults to manage work and play in our career, and too often we let the season of sunshine pass us by without ever enjoying its rays. But as someone who works in a creative field, I’m a strong believer that the occasional mix of work and play can lead to more productive team members and more inspiring work.
Here are a few ideas to add some summer fun into your daily grind.
Take advantage of lunch breaks.
Sometimes you can’t even remember what season it is when you’re stuck indoors all day. A nice way to boost your productivity and even your personal health? Take advantage of your lunch breaks. Our office is located in the Garfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh, which means that we have plenty of options for outdoor dining and to soak up that vitamin D, which has health benefits like being linked to keeping your body at a healthy weight. And the summertime is a great time to be focused on your health, with an abundance of fruits and vegetables in season. In fact, a sunny day is the perfect time to get up and take a brisk walk over lunch. According to the Panera Bread website, 60% of workers in a British study said that their time management skills and mental performance were better on days that involved exercise.
Plan a team outing.
At a previous job, we had an annual summer picnic to celebrate all of the hard work we had been doing. It included a catered cookout, bouncy house, and fun activities at a local park. At Imagebox, we make it a point to do monthly team outings, including a drink and movie night. Sound like an unproductive use of time? Not so! Studies have shown that job satisfaction directly leads to an employee providing more ROI to their company. And according to this study, employees who experience fun in the workplace report a higher level of job satisfaction.
Network your nights away.
Summertime happy hours aren’t just a time to let loose – they are a time to make valuable connections and get advice from peers on a more personal level than you would get over a conference table. Many summer networking events and happy hours incorporate summer into their themes, from fruity featured drinks to outdoor locations. Be on the lookout for any summer happy hour or networking opportunities (Facebook and Twitter work great for this) or browse groups on Meet Up (including some that Imagebox may be involved in!)
So while you might not be able to skip work to spend the day at the beach, you CAN incorporate some fun summer activities into your work, leading to more productivity and bigger smiles.