Summer has started in the workplace. I know, we still have a few weeks before the official start of the season, but in the workplace, summer goes from Memorial Day to Labor Day. In this time frame, some organizations go to “Summer Hours” to offer their employees a little extra time to enjoy some of the finer things. While there are a lot of great ideas out there, from a 4-day work week, to “9 days on, 1 day off,” I’m offering a few summer hours ideas for the HR professional. Sure we care about our employees, but it’s been a long winter and we need some self-care. Here are a few things you can do to make the most of your summer.
Make the time to leave early one day a week. It doesn’t have to be a Friday, but Friday’s are nice! Last summer, I made a commitment to catch the early afternoon train so I could take a fitness class every Friday afternoon. I blocked my calendar and did everything possible to make that happen. Inevitably, HR would happen and I would have to miss it, but when I was able to make those classes happen, the tone was set for my whole weekend.
Find something that makes you want to leave early. Maybe it’s to get an early jump on traffic to get home or get to the lake. Maybe you want to meet up with friends, spend some time volunteering, or read a book. Whatever it is, carve out some time and do it.
Why do you always have to leave early? Pick one day a week to start later than usual. Shake up your morning routine. Attend that HIIT class you’ve always wanted to try. If you have kids, take them to breakfast, or to camp, or just hang out. Learn how to play Fortnite. Visit that local coffee shop you pass everyday.
Or just sleep in. There’s a lot of buzz about waking up early to get stuff done. But for a lot of working people, waking up early means getting ready to go to work. Waking up at 4:00am does not make you a successful person. What if you work the 3rd shift? You’re halfway through your workday!
My own body clock does not allow me to sleep in past 6am. I have tried to remedy this condition, but I just can’t shake it. But if enjoying the cool side of the pillow an extra hour or two on a Wednesday makes you happy, by all means snuggle up. It’s the summertime and you have more daylight. Rest up for the beautiful sunset.
Do Something Fun
Save the professional development for the cold weather days. Nobody wants to be sitting in a classroom getting their ScrumMaster certification when it’s sunny and 80 degrees. Sign up for that bird watching class or the craft brewing session at your local brewery. Learn to ride a motorcycle or rent a kayak and explore your local waterways. Learn to sail, fly a kite, or ride a bike. Whatever you choose, make sure you get away from your work. Use this time to recharge and refresh.
You have thirteen beautiful weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Remember all of those thoughts you had in January while slogging through another negative windchill day. Recall all of those dreams you had of dining al fresco. These thirteen weeks are the time to realize those daydreams. HR can take its toll. Make sure you are taking advantage of the longer days. What are your plans for the summer?