The Tuesday after Memorial Day marks the unofficial beginning of summer. Congratulations! You made it! For the next three months you have permission to take it easy, slack off a bit, let your deadlines slide. Don’t worry, everyone does it.
For many companies, summer hours are now in effect. Everyone is encouraged to leave the office around mid-day on Fridays. Go ahead, start your weekend early. That forty hour week thing, really it’s only the Americans who observe it anyway.
Corporate outings are now going to take place at the ballpark, on the beach, or near a softball field. Don’t worry – the client won’t read that document until Monday anyway. Make sure to buy enough hot dogs for the grill before you arrive!
White shoes are now fashionably appropriate. Ok, that may not have a huge impact on business, or work/life balance, but it could if you really think about it. Wearing shorts to the office may be taking it too far, even during the summer, but just about anything else goes.
And don’t forget to put your planned vacation time into the company schedule. We need to make sure and have appropriate coverage for all our projects. I don’t know what appropriate coverage means, but it sounds like a good idea.
Don’t get me wrong, I like summer. I think everyone deserves to take it easy from time to time — detox from their work schedule with some time near the pool, or driving to our nation’s monuments. And I will take my share of long weekends, vacation days, and other time off during June, July and August.
But, do we have to sacrifice an entire quarter to the sun gods? Do warmer temperatures give us permission to do less work?
Frankly, I feel pressure from my colleagues not to check out early. They walk by my office in the afternoon and say that I should enjoy it “while I can.” Don’t they know that there are Vitamin-D deficient clients out there also who expect us to be available when they call? Haven’t they realized that there are huge deadlines in the coming weeks/months that would seem less daunting if we all pitched in?
I spent all Memorial Day working on a couple of deliverables. My wife did the same for her work. We would have much rather been outside, swimming with your nieces, at a ballgame, or enjoying a barbecue with friends. But we had work to do and a federally-mandated day-off wasn’t going to change that. Self-designated holidays don’t change that either.
Summer is great. The weather is inviting. The baseball season is in full swing. And there isn’t much good television on right now anyway. So you should absolutely get outside, enjoy yourself. I just hope you remember that when you do, that there is also work that needs to get done and there are other people on the hook when you take off.