How to Improve Your Summer Office Morale

When you’d rather be vacationing or spending time with friends and family, reports and spreadsheets can seem like the most unappealing things ever. Until it’s time for your week of vacation to relax on the beach and forget about work, check out our tips to be happier in the office this summer.

During the summer months when the birds are chirping and the pool is calling (or screaming) your name, it can be hard to muster up excitement for work.  When you’d rather be vacationing or spending time with friends and family, reports and spreadsheets can seem like the most unappealing things ever.  Until it’s time for your week of vacation to relax on the beach and forget about work, check out our tips to be happier in the office this summer.

1.  Wake up on the right side of the bed

Set your alarm for at least an hour before you need to leave the house for work.  This timeframe will allow you to mentally prepare for the day and have some time to yourself before spending all day in the office.  Read the paper, enjoy your breakfast and take a refreshing shower.  Take extra time to pick out an outfit that makes you feel professional and put together. When you look better, you feel better, and are more productive.

2.  Use your time wisely

Prioritizing your workload makes for a happier work experience.  When you’re overwhelmed with projects and don’t know what should be completed first, you’re more likely to sweat the small stuff.  At the beginning of every week (and the beginning of every day), set personal goals for yourself to break down work into more manageable segments. Also, remember to reward yourself with breaks after you reach one of your self-made goals.  You deserve it!

3.  Apply yourself

Work towards challenges to keep your brain working and to keep interest throughout the day.  Boredom is one of the top causes of dissatisfaction in the workplace.  You’ll feel better about being at work when you are seeing tangible results and know you are working for a beneficial reason.  Nobody likes doing busy work that has no payoff in the end, so avoid pointless tasks and stick to challenging projects.

4.  Ask for feedback

Asking for feedback will make you feel more motivated at work.  If you’re doing a great job on a project, hearing so from your supervisor will give you that extra push to continue doing your best.  Everyone likes to hear that they’re succeeding at their job!  Constructive criticism helps work performance as well, because then you’ll know exactly what is expected of you and how to improve your work.  Self-analysis and feedback from customers will help you enjoy your work experience too!

5.  Keep your workspace organized

What better way to keep your mind organized than to keep your desk organized?  Everyone works better when they’re in a positive workspace. When you know where everything is it’s easier to complete tasks, especially when you have multiple projects on your plate.  You just feel better when your office is tidy and a neat space keeps distractions at a minimum.

6.  Get a hobby

Having something you love to do outside of work will improve your day-to-day mood and will help you stay motivated at work.  When you’re happy about your life, you will be happier about spending time at work and have a better overall disposition.  Get your friends and co-workers to join in with your new activity so you can create better bonds and friendships. Your hobby or activity will also give you something to look forward to after work and is a great way to de-stress after a long day at the office.

 

Our last suggestion to stay happy at work this summer?  Smile!  With all of these suggestions and a smile on your face, we dare you to be unhappy for another minute!

 

 

Essential Apps for Your Summer Road Trip

Before World War III breaks out in Rhonda the Honda, check out these eight free road trip apps that we promise will make your car ride more enjoyable (or as enjoyable as a family vacation can be).

Nothing ruins the anticipation of an exciting summer vacation like road trip misery.  We’ve all been there: you have grand ideas about how driving to your destination is going to help you save money, as well as bond with the fam.  Cue vision of laughing family playing car games and enjoying each other’s company.

However, 20 minutes into your eight-hour trip you realize that this is not going to be the case.  The kids are already whining that they’re hungry and bored, the driver is distracted from the commotion in the back seat, and you feel a massive headache coming on.  Before World War III breaks out in Rhonda the Honda, check out these eight free road trip apps that we promise will make your car ride more enjoyable (or as enjoyable as a family vacation can be).

1.  RoadNinja

road-ninja“Where’s the next rest area? I can’t wait!”

“I’m hungry!  I want Wendy’s!”

Quell the complaining with the RoadNinja app.  This lifesaver lets you know exactly what is coming up in exits right off of the interstate you’re traveling.  So when your kid needs to go right now or he refuses to eat any fast food except Wendy’s chicken nuggets, you’ll know you only have to listen to the crying for five more miles.

2.  HotelsByMe

You thought you were going to drive through the night, but you literally can’t take one more second in the car.  HotelsByMe lets you find hotels in your vicinity, including ratings from TripAdvisor, prices and real-time availability.  Get some shuteye at a hand-picked hotel for the night and start again fresh in the morning.

3.  RoadTrippers

Mashable called RoadTrippers the “only app you’ll need for the Great American Road Trip,” and we believe them.  A self-proclaimed mix of Mapquest and Yelp, RoadTrippers finds the most adventurous route available to get you to your destination.  Spice up the route you’ve taken a million times in search of something more exciting.

4.  OpenTable

open-table_thumbCar snacks are exciting for the first couple of hours, but after your three-year-old sticks the second Cheeto up his nose, they start to lose some appeal.    With OpenTable, you can read menus, check prices and ratings, and make a reservation at participating restaurants.

5.  BatteryGuru

Whether you forgot your charger at the last hotel or five people are fighting over one car charger, BatteryGuru will help save your battery life with smart changes to energy expense.  In the first few days, the guru learns how you interact with your smartphone and then comes up with a battery optimization plan based on your specific usage.

6.  Sky Map

starzAdd a night of camping under the stars to your road trip and this cosmic app will definitely come in handy.  You can search constellations as you see them with Sky Map’s GPS information about the stars in your location.

 

7.  Postagram

Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 2.48.30 PMWith this free app, you can send digital postcards of your trip to friends and family anywhere in the U.S. for $.99.  Use photos from your camera roll, Instagram or Facebook and add your own personalized message!

8.  Shoeboxed

The Shoeboxed Receipt and Mileage Tracker for iOS and Android is a great travel companion for your road trip (which can’t always been said for everyone else in your car).  You can track your mileage and route with the click of a button (okay, two buttons – “Start Trip” and “Stop Trip”).   The app also allows you to snap pictures of your trip receipts and upload them directly to your Shoeboxed account.

All of these apps sound like a great excuse to take a vacation to us!  Which of these apps sounds the most useful to you?

Photo credit: tripwiremagazine.com; postagramapp.com