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How to enjoy summer without losing productivity: tailored tips for IT specialists

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

MacBook Pro on table beside white iMac and Magic Mouse
Photo by Domenico Loia on Unsplash

Summer is the season for many good things, but usually not higher productivity. Let’s be honest – staring at a black screen and staying focused on complex code strings while the sun is shining outside is not always easy.

While we can see countless workers filling cafe terraces with their computers and (seemingly) neverending cups of coffee, working out of the office or home isn’t equally simple for all professions. While freelance writers or social media managers usually need only their computer to set up an outdoor office, IT specialists may need one or two extra screens and possibly other equipment to be able to work productively.

Does this mean that web developers, system analysts, and network engineers can’t enjoy flexible work in the summer (if they want to stay fairly productive)?

Not at all. Working in IT recruitment, we’ve seen numerous tech professionals trying alternative work formats, working from their summer houses, and even combining work with family trips. As our team works 100% remotely, we know what works and what doesn’t – from practice.

Without further ado, we’re happy to share 8 summer productivity tips tailored to IT specialists (and tested by tech recruiters).

1. Get your equipment right

It’s tempting to try working from your terrace, summer house, or even the nearby park in the summertime. Wherever you want to work from, stable internet and an adequate technological setup are a must.

Most IT professionals will feel reduced productivity without an extra screen, potentially a developer keyboard or mouse. If you participate in many remote meetings, you’ll also need to pack your earset and microphone.

In other words, going on motorcycle trips with your laptop in your backpack and doing some work on the way usually isn’t an option for tech specialists – unless your destination has a workstation set up for you. But with proper planning, you can finish work earlier and have more time for your hobbies or afternoon trips after work (more on that later).

Pro tip: A shady terrace or garden is the best option for working outside on a computer. If you plan to work from a sunny balcony or even the beach, ensure your computer screen is bright enough to be readable in the sun. Or, if you’re taking summer productivity seriously, get yourself a laptop sunshade.

2. Wake up earlier

If your work hours are flexible, consider waking up one or two hours earlier to take advantage of longer daylight hours. This way, you can finish work earlier or take a longer break during the day to go for a walk or swim.

If you wake up before the rest of your team, you’ll have more time for focused work without being distracted by meetings and colleague requests. In addition, if you’re working from your summer house or a holiday place with your family, you’ll find quiet morning hours precious.

Pro tip: Whether you choose to wake up earlier or not, we recommend planning the most difficult tasks in the morning, as many studies show that’s when we are at our most productive.

A man siting in front of two screens
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

3. Cycle or walk to work

The easiest way to enjoy summer – or any other season for that matter – is switching up your car for a bike or walking to your office. Fresh air, physical activity, and winding down after a long day of work – all these benefits will come for free, in a nature–friendly packaging!

Plan more time for your commute if necessary – your body and mind will thank you! If you live too far away to cycle or walk all the way, consider park & ride options or take your bike on the train halfway, for example.

Pro tip: If changing your mode of transport isn’t an option, try taking a different route to work (even if it takes longer to get there). You’ll be surprised how exciting it can be to see new surroundings and maybe find new spots in districts you thought you knew well.

A man with a backpack on the bike in the city
Photo by Tobias Cornille on Unsplash

4. Have lunch outside

Whether you work remotely or from an office, you can make a habit of having lunch outdoors. Outdoor lunches are a win-win-win as they refresh your mind and body and boost your productivity.

You can either pack your lunchbox and utensils (and a picnic blanket, why not?) or simply go to a nearby restaurant with outdoor seating and have lunch there.

As you enjoy that al fresco lunch, try not to spend all of it staring at your phone screen. Your eyes need a rest as much as your brain does. If you need to make some arrangements during your break, opt for calling instead of chatting and, ideally, walking around while you’re at it.

Pro tip: Summer is the time to eat lighter and healthier meals avoiding that post-meal sluggishness or a dip in energy levels after a heavier meal. Consider having two shorter meals per day or a healthy snack in the afternoon instead.

A young woman having a lunch in a park
Photo by Josephine Baran on Unsplash

5. Work in sprints

Sprints are short, time-boxed periods of work where you block all distractions and focus on completing specific tasks or goals. In big team projects, sprints can last for days or weeks; but when planning your workflow individually, you can work in one, two, or three-hour sprints.

Your sprints must have well-defined goals and a fixed duration, encouraging you to work more efficiently and deliver results quicker. By achieving tangible results at the end of each sprint cycle, you’ll have better peace of mind and will be able to enjoy your downtime without qualms of conscience.

Pro tip: To manage distractions effectively, use noise-canceling headphones, turn off notifications for non-essential apps, and communicate your availability to friends and family to ensure uninterrupted work time.

6. Take regular breaks

Numerous studies prove that regular breaks at work are essential for your well-being and productivity. Still, more than half of employees (59%) report burnout, and overworking statistics are alarming, with millions of people struggling with the effects of overworking, including heart diseases and mental issues.

If you are one of the overly hard-working folk, summer is the perfect opportunity to start healthier work patterns that include taking regular short breaks. Step outside for a walk, have a quick meeting with a friend, or engage in short physical activities to refresh your mind and body.

Pro tip: If you’re having trouble remembering to take a break, set a reminder every hour.

7. Go on microadventures

If you can’t take long vacations or leave the city on the weekend, you can always enjoy microadventures after or before work.

Microadventure – a term coined by author and adventurer Alastair Humphreys – is an adventure that is “short, simple, local, cheap – yet still fun, exciting, challenging, refreshing and rewarding.” Depending on your lifestyle and preferences, microadventures allow you to spend quality time alone, with your family or friends.

A microadventure can be, for example, an evening trip to a nearby attraction you’ve never visited before; renting a SUP board to watch the sunrise in the nearby lake; a short hike after work, or camping in a nearby forest.

Pro tip: As you are microadventuring, try listening to inspiring podcasts about adventures or any other topic you enjoy or have always wanted to learn more about.

Father with two daughters in the bench in a meadow
Image by Petra from Pixabay

8. Bring summer vibes to your office

If none of our previous tips are suitable for your work hours or responsibilities, don’t sulk because this last tip works for every office worker anywhere. In other words, if you can’t go to the summer, let the summer come to you!

You can start by bringing fruit-infused water or berry smoothies with you to the office and creating a summer hit playlist. Switch up your wardrobe to a brighter, lighter, and more colorful one, get flowers on your way to work, and open a window for that fresh air to come in. Sky’s the limit if you let yourself be creative!

Pro tip: Invite your co-workers for outdoor team-building activities like mini-golf, volleyball, or a friendly sports tournament.

Sun radiation is better than screen radiation…

…just joking, but you got the idea, right? Fresh summer air and a change of scenery can boost your creativity, focus, and overall well-being. As tech recruiters, we are rooting for every IT specialist out there, and we hope you’ll use our tips to enjoy a productive summer.

With smart planning and some discipline, you can even combine work and travel. While looking for IT talent abroad, we’ve sometimes even held job interviews with high-profile specialists workationing from summer cottages or holiday destinations.

In short – create a comfortable workspace outdoors, even if it’s your patio or balcony. Alternatively, soak up the sun on your way to work or during your lunch break. And do your best to work shorter but more productive hours.


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