5 Surprising Sources of Summer Work Stress — and How to Fix Them

When you think of summer — sun! Smoothies! vacation! Fridays off! — you may assume that work stress is packed away with your winter coat and gloves. But summer can bring its own workplace challenges. Here are five scenarios that can cause unexpected summer work stress and tips on how to handle them.

You’re Not Sure What Summer Fridays Mean to Your Workload

“It’s fair to say that most organizations offering [part-time or “summer” Fridays] expect you to manage your time accordingly. That typically doesn’t involve saying bye to your boss at noon to get the weekend started if you have unfinished work attached to a deadline. If you’re not working longer days earlier in the week to account for the shortened day, then it’s up to you to figure out how to fit it all in to make that short day at the end of the week a reality. Perhaps you eat lunch at your desk or you cut out social media breaks. Maybe you set your alarm 15 minutes earlier and stay 20 minutes later than usual. Just don’t expect your manager to take work off your plate in response to the policy.” — Read more at Muse.com.

You Don’t Know How to Ask for Vacation Time

“How should you handle asking for time off from work? It can be challenging to secure time off and remain in good standing with your supervisor when each worker is important to operations. … Plan your requests for time off when your boss will be most receptive. Avoid stressful times of the day, week or month. Make sure your work is under control and well managed at the time of your request. If possible, ask for time off after successful completion of a project or event. … If you want time off on short notice, be sure to let your boss know that you’re caught up.” — Read more at The Balance.com

Your Summer Dress Might be Veering Into Resort Wear

“Sadly, rompers have become a summer staple in the last few years. … A few brands have very cute ones, but rompers still fall in that weird gray area between a tiny dress and a tiny pair of shorts. Plus, there are just a few basic problems. Rompers tend to confuse people. They don’t understand that the shorts and top are connected or why you would voluntarily choose to wear something called a romper. This should not be the subject of a business meeting.” — Read more at Levo.com.

Too Much Forced Company Socializing is Eating Into Other Summer Plans

“One option is to just keep turning down your manager’s suggestions, as in ‘Sorry, I have plans I can’t break’ or ‘I have commitments most evenings after work.’ Another option though, if you’re up for it, would be to address it more broadly and say something like, ‘I’ve noticed you’ve made a few suggestions like this. I think a lot of us have long commutes and other commitments after work and just don’t really want to extend our work days like that.’  … If she starts acting like there are penalties for doing that, then you’ll have to decide how strongly you feel about not going … but if it gets to that point, you’ll definitely want to have made her aware that not everyone is clamoring for the opportunity to play bingo with their coworkers.” — Read more at AskAManager.org.

Weekend Emails Are Throwing Off Your Work-Life Balance

“If your manager makes it clear that he does indeed expect weekend responses, then you have the usual choices: accept it or try to change it. … Say something like, … ‘I don’t mind responding occasionally if it’s an emergency, but I wonder if there’s a way to save everything else for when I’m back at work. I use the weekends to recharge so that I’m refreshed on Monday, and I’m often somewhere where I can’t easily answer work emails.’”  — Read more at Inc.

Have you had to deal with any unexpected summer work stress? I’d love to hear the situation and your solution in the comments below.

Lindsey Pollak is the leading expert on millennials and the multigenerational workplace, trusted by global companies, universities and the world’s top media outlets. A New York Times bestselling author and keynote speaker, Lindsey began her career as a dorm RA in college and has been mentoring millennials — and explaining them to other generations — ever since. Her presentations have audiences so engaged that, in the words of one attendee, “I didn’t check my phone once!” Contact Lindsey to discuss a speaking engagement for your organization.

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Lindsey is a globally recognized career and workplace expert and the leading voice on generational diversity. She has spoken for more than 300 audiences including Google, Goldman Sachs, Estee Lauder, Stanford and Wharton. Lindsey is the author of four career and workplace advice books, and her insights have appeared in media outlets including The TODAY Show, CNBC, NPR, the Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal.


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