After a summer filled with holidays, vacations and lazy poolside barbecues, getting back into a work mindset can be tough. Your employees may still be sporting swim trunks at the office or leaving work early to catch the last beach volleyball game of the season.

So how do you get your team focused, motivated and excited for the rest of the year?

Here are a few of our favorite ways to beat the back to work blues.

Throw a Party

It sounds counterintuitive, but throwing a back-to-work bash is a great way to help everyone transition back into work mode. A party can serve as a way to demarcate one season from another. In addition to sharing favorite memories from the past quarter, your team can set goals for the remainder of the year and brainstorm ways to achieve them.

Get Busy

The best way to beat the blues is by having something to do. As you assign tasks to your team, feel free to fudge the deadlines and ask that work be completed sooner than it’s actually due. Challenge your employees to work swiftly and offer a nice incentive for doing so – a killer deadline with Lakers tickets at the finish line is a great way to snap out of summer lethargy!

Mix it Up

It’s hard to ditch a lazy summer mindset when you’re doing the same old things you’ve always done. Reassign tasks and responsibilities to get your team thinking in fresh new ways. Create new positions, make subordinates team captains, or partner your lead salesperson with the lowly intern. Even tiny changes can be enough to shake things up and grease the wheels of productivity!

Dangle that Carrot

A big end-of-year prize can be a great motivator after the Labor Day lull. You could pledge a percentage of team sales toward the company holiday party, or offer a cash prize to the quarter’s leading sales person. If your team increases revenue by 20%, you’ll take them to Disney World; if they increase revenue by 50%, you’re all going to Fiji! Get creative with a carrot that benefits the entire team to maximize motivation for the entire group.


Meet with your employees individually and as a group to get their opinions on the way you’re running your business. What do they love about working for you? What could be improved? If they could change one thing, what would it be? Once you’ve truly listened to their thoughts and opinions, implement whatever you can. There’s nothing more motivating than feeling not only listened to, but truly heard.

Move the Furniture

If all else fails, make changes to your workspace. Having a different vantage point can completely change your mindset, so don’t be afraid to put the marketing department upstairs and move the accounting office to their old spot.

How do you beat the back to work blues?

Image via Flickr