Tips for Working in an Office This Summer
*Editors Note: Today’s column comes from our first guest writer of the summer, Laura “The Meme Queen” Mayfield. If you want to help contribute to the Summer Fridays series this summer, email me at email@example.com*.
This was going to be a summer to remember. Unfortunately, you used up all your vacation time in January, gas prices have turned your road trip plans into a trip to the local CVS, (Pro-tip: Go to rite-aid instead, they have better snacks.), and you have to go into the office because some middle manager thought you took too many meetings in the shower.
This totally awesome-monkey-pox-free-no-sunburn guide will have you working like a pro.
Remote workers, this one isn’t for you. We get it, walking to the couch in your jammies is your commute! Ha-ha-ha. #Blessedbutpressed
For the rest of us poor souls that have to drive to work at least part of the time, how do you deal with gas prices going through the roof? Gas prices just went up another dollar as I typed this sentence.
The good news is that studies show regular commute times are somewhat better during the summer, however, the traffic times do shift. Friday evenings are going to be the worst as people go out on vacation. If you don’t have Summer Fridays, then just say you have to go to the restroom and leave early. If they ask you where you went, say, I had a bathroom emergency and look embarrassed. They aren’t going to dig into a potentially embarrassing downstairs situation. This can work about 3 or 4 times before you have to get a doctor’s note.
There are several options you have when gas prices go up :
1. Find the least annoying coworker to commute with.
Pros: You can share gas costs and show off your awesome music taste at the same time. Hopefully they don’t mind you crying along to Olivia Rodrigo.
Cons : You learn a little too much about John’s Aunt Brenda.
2. Ask for a raise.
This is the best risk-reward option. Companies really don’t like going through the riga-riamole of trying to hire someone, possibly someone who could be even lazier than you. (Make sure to mention this)
Calculate how much you pay in gas, for example, $300.00 a month. Maybe now you pay $50 extra a month. You can ask for a raise of an extra $75.00 a month since prices will continue to go up.
3. Use Public Transport or Run/Bike
If you aren’t lazy like me, you can always try using public transit or run/bike commute. I have found that a bike commute for anything under 6 miles is doable. Anything over that and you show up to work looking like raggedy ann with a puffer vest
If that doesn’t work, or you just hate confrontation, you can look for another job. I like to be in the office some of the time, partly for the possibility of free food and also to remember how trash society can be. Don’t @ me, I don’t work for #bigoffice.
When job searching you want to use the words hybrid and remote when searching. But it is important to read through the listing completely. I can’t tell you how many times I have been burned after applying for a job only to find out it is remote, to return to the office at a later date. Usually in a place no one actually lives, like Nebraska. So don’t scroll through Indeed with a white claw at 11 PM.
In the long run, it is a good idea to calculate how much the gas price increase is going to cost you, and then figure out whether interviewing for a new job is worth the hassle.
Inflation / Buying Lunch
Speaking of rising gas prices, how are we supposed to deal with the rising costs of everything else this summer?
CNN calls it “lunch inflation.” I call it Burger-gate and I have beef with Arbys trying to price me out of lunch with their new Waygu burger. I mean 6 bucks for a burger? I’ll be having a 3 dollar roast beef slider like a real American.
Anyway, for anyone who isn’t a beef head, what do you do for lunch? There is the old staple of bringing lunch from home. If that gets too samey, try swapping lunches from the fridge. It’s not really stealing if your coworker gets to try your yummy peanut butter sandwich, is it? Honestly, they should pay me for the privilege of trying one of my great lunches.
Working When It’s Nice Out
Once again, there is a vast difference between working remotely and working in the office.Personally, it is harder to get work done remotely in the summer because I just want to go outside.
There are two game plans.
- Become a weekend warrior and spend all day in the sun during the weekend.
- Or since the sun is out for longer in the summer, you can do things outside after work and do nothing on the weekends as God intended. During the workday, what works for me is setting a timer and then rewarding myself for working by taking a little walk.
Vacation(or lack thereof)
So you used up all your vacation time. Is there any way you can still have a good summer? I say: maybe…if you are cool. Try planning to go somewhere new in your town that you have never been. See if you can take a sick day and have some 3-day weekends.
As we all know, the worst part about summer vacations is listening your coworkers drawn out vacation stories. A good rule of thumb is that co-workers can talk about their vacation for 2 days. After that you are legally allowed to hit them with a “that’s crazy bro”. If you feel jealous just remember they probably were photoshopping that crystal blue water.
In conclusion, if you follow these easy 40 steps, this summer will be totally awesome and fun probably.