Hacks to survive the Silly Season.

Are you left holding the bag as your colleagues or boss jet off for the summer?

Are you left holding the bag as your colleagues or boss jet off for the summer?…

Dennis Hartmann is currently Country Manager for Western & Southern Europe,  Dennis is passionate about offering advice and guidance to both employers and candidates who are interested in learning about the market or desire to take the next step in their careers. He is a regular writer and contributor for People Place and provides coaching and market studies services for the agency’s client portfolio.

If you are currently contemplating starting your work experience in Western & Southern Europe there is no one better than him to assist you in your venture.


Are you left holding the bag as your colleagues or boss jet off for the summer?

image courtesy of iStock photo.
The “silly season” is at its peak! we all know it and there is no escaping about it. That time of year when the world seems to go a little haywire, we all embrace the chaos with open arms because soon or later everyone escapes the office for a well-deserved break. But what about those of us left behind? Yes, the ones without holidays left to take, the ones that have started a new job just before the summer, or anyone else in the middle.

The workload increases and responsibilities soar, leaving us feeling like an ostrich running in search of a hole, overwhelmed and stressed. To bring more to our misery, the sun, the weather, the swimming suits, sunglasses, the sound of flip-flops everywhere we go it seems like they are hunting us… I’m so sorry!, did I rub too much salt in your wound because you are office-based or in the best case on hybrid mode but so still does not allow you to enjoy the season at its best?  Ok, ok, let me try to help in some measure!

Stay with me for the next 7 minutes! 
This Surviving Hack-Guide for the Silly Season will give you both soft tips and raw survival if you are left holding the can as your bosses or colleagues jet off for the summer. So, grab the snorkeling glasses, and let’s dive in!

image courtesy of iStock photo.


1. Boost your neurons with Fruit-Infused Water

One of the best things about summer is indulging in refreshing beverages. Avoid sugary sodas or artificially flavored drinks, opt for natural fruit sugars, or experiment with DIY fruit-infused water recipes, but stay hydrated and allow the magic of fruits to experiment with your neurons.





2. Endolge your ears with a Summer Playlist

What better way to bring the summer vibes indoors than with a curated playlist filled with favorite summer hits? Why not get your colleagues involved by asking for their song suggestions and creating a collaborative playlist that everyone can enjoy?

3. Brighten Up Your Workspace

Colors have a significant impact on our mood and productivity, so why not incorporate the vibrant hues of summer into your workspace? Surrounding yourself with bright and cheerful elements will instantly lift your spirits and make you feel closer to the outdoors.

4. Plan a Frozen Treat Happy Hour

If your office doesn’t have Summer Fridays, you can still create your own mini-escape by organizing a frozen treat happy hour on Fridays. Gather your colleagues and indulge in some delicious ice cream sundaes or ice cream sandwiches to boost your mood but also enhance your productivity.

5. Light Up Your Workspace

If you’re yearning for the sunshine while trapped in a shared office space, brightening up your workspace is a simple yet effective way to bring the outdoors in. Consider adding a portable lamp or “happy light” that mimics sunlight to your desk. Basking in the warm glow of these lights will make you feel closer to nature and create a more cheerful and inviting work environment.




6. Add a Splash of Summer to Your Wardrobe

Just because you’re at work doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate your favorite summer pieces into your wardrobe. Find ways to infuse your outfits with a touch of summer. Ladies can check out some cute-work-outfits-for-summer while you guys would have to stick to shorts and Hawaiian t-shirts…

7. Mini Outdoor Breaks Therapy

While you may not be able to spend the entire day outside, you can still enjoy the benefits of fresh air and sunshine by taking mini outdoor breaks. Step outside for a few minutes during your breaks and soak up some Vitamin D. Whether it’s a quick stroll around the block or a moment of relaxation in a nearby park, these small moments of outdoor time will rejuvenate your mind and body.

8. Cool Down with Popsicles

Beat the summer heat and satisfy your sweet tooth by stocking your office freezer with popsicles. Whenever you’re craving a refreshing treat, simply grab one and enjoy. You can even offer them to your co-workers as a gesture of friendship and camaraderie.





9. Bring Nature to Your Desk 

If you can’t physically be outside, bring a touch of nature to your desk by adding some new small plants. Not only will they beautify your workspace, but they will also improve air quality and create a sense of tranquility. Choose low-maintenance plants such as succulents or small potted flowers that can thrive indoors.

10. Adjust Your Schedule for Summer

Make your work schedule more summer-friendly by making a few adjustments. Consider coming in an hour earlier each day so you can leave earlier and enjoy the late afternoon sunshine. Alternatively, plan your workload and meetings strategically, focusing on completing important tasks earlier in the week, allowing you to have more flexibility on Friday afternoons.

11. Lunch Break Maximizer Mindset

Instead of spending your lunch break hunched over your desk, use this time to engage in activities that will make you feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Step outside to enjoy your lunch in a nearby park, take a quick walk to stretch your legs, or even treat yourself to a mini spa session or a manicure or pedicure.





12. Connect with Summer Friday Friends

You’re not alone in your quest to make the most of summer while working. Reach out to your colleagues who are also in the office on Fridays and make plans to connect during your lunch break or after work. You can grab lunch together at an outdoor restaurant or simply chat over a cup of ice coffee. Having these summer Friday friends will provide a sense of camaraderie and help you embrace the summer spirit even while working.

13. Spice Up Your Commute

If your daily commute is starting to feel monotonous, it’s time to spice things up. Consider alternative modes of transportation such as walking or biking to work, if feasible. Not only will this add some physical activity to your day, but it will also allow you to enjoy the fresh air and soak in the summer vibes. If walking or biking isn’t an option, try taking a different route to work to break the routine.

14. Embrace Summer Sports

Who says you can’t enjoy summer sports while at work? Take a break from your tasks and engage in some fun outdoor activities. While you may not be able to play a full-fledged game of beach volleyball, you can certainly toss a frisbee around in the parking lot or play a quick game of cornhole in a spare room. These mini sports breaks will not only add a touch of summer fun to your workday but also provide an opportunity for team bonding and stress relief.

15. In case of emergency, when nothing works “break the glass” and contact us. 

Browse your dream jobs eager to soak up the sun is natural, but if you find yourself too often trying to bolt from your current job… maybe it’s a sign that this summer could be the perfect opportunity to find a company abroad you’ll love, a new employer that will make a piece of cake moving abroad for a career that could allow you to do your job fully remote or on hybrid mode from a prime location by the sea with 9 months of good weather a year. Yes, really! here is when we come in and can make the transition completely painless, making it as simple as packing your bags… Sounds interesting? reach out to us!





1. Don’t aim at more of what is expected.

One of the most stressful situations is not knowing what is expected of you while your colleagues are away. To avoid this, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your responsibilities, aiming at reaching more is going to put more pressure on you.  Evaluate, act, and deliver in line with the current situation.





2. Accept How You Feel

It’s natural to feel envious or unmotivated when everyone else seems to be enjoying their time off. Accepting these emotions is key but reframing the situation is paramount. Instead of dwelling on what you’re missing out on, consider it an opportunity to step up. Embrace the quieter work environment and use it to your advantage.

3. Be Realistic

When you’re covering for colleagues, it’s essential to be realistic about what you can accomplish. We can’t do both our own job and someone else’s job simultaneously but prioritize your tasks and decide how many hours you’re willing to work. It’s also important to consider whether you’ll be compensated for any extra hours put in. Working double hours to cover everything is not sustainable in the long run.

4. Judge What to Let Go

Inexperienced at covering for others? Don’t assume anything. Ask for specifics before the handover process, and remember that prioritization will be key. Determine what’s urgent, what’s important, and what can wait. While it may vary depending on your industry and company, focus on essential tasks such as securing new business rather than spending excessive time on other less crucial tasks. Manage your time wisely and don’t get overwhelmed by unnecessary tasks.

5. Be Your Own Boss

If you’re covering for your boss, it’s crucial to establish boundaries and expectations. Are you temporarily assuming your boss’s role? Do you have any authority? These questions may seem daunting, clarify your responsibilities and level of authority beforehand. Remember, you don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not. Be confident in your abilities, and if you encounter a challenging situation, don’t hesitate to communicate that you’re filling in and may not have all the answers.

6. Enjoy a Different Environment

When the boss is away, the atmosphere in the office tends to change. Colleagues become more sociable, and there is often a sense of camaraderie, which helps lighten the mood and improve productivity. Embrace the different environments and find ways to enjoy your time at work.

7. Embrace forced thinking

A manager’s absence could provide an opportunity to shake up your routine and discover more efficient ways of working within the process limitations. Use this time to experiment with new approaches and identify tasks that may not be contributing to your overall productivity.





8. Get to Know Yourself

Stepping into a new role or taking on additional responsibilities can be an opportunity for self-discovery. If you typically thrive in the company of others but find yourself feeling lonely during this time, use it as an opportunity to explore different ways of working. You might discover that you can be resourceful and creative even when you’re not surrounded by people.

9. Be the fun bearer

When everyone else is on holiday, being the one holding down the fort can feel like a drag. But it doesn’t have to be! organizing social activities or events to make the work environment more enjoyable not only boosts morale, but it also positions you as a positive influence in the office. Remember, work can be fun too!

10. Track Your Achievements

Throughout the summer work season, keep a record of your accomplishments and the tasks you’ve covered; documenting your progress, lessons learned, and new skills acquired can be valuable when it comes to the time to ask for a pay raise or pursue a promotion. Having tangible evidence of your contributions and growth will strengthen your case and demonstrate your commitment.

11. Don’t Be Put Off by Mishaps

Mistakes happen, even when you’re covering for others. Reframing failure as a learning experience rather than a reflection of your abilities is very advisable. Accept that difficult situations can arise and do your best to navigate them. Remember, not everything that goes wrong is necessarily your fault. Analyze the situation and identify any areas for improvement. By adopting a growth mindset, you can turn setbacks into opportunities for growth and development.




12. Avoid being overwhelmed

Even with a clear understanding of your responsibilities, the summer work season can be tiring and stressful, pacing yourself and taking regular breaks would be key. Remember to prioritize self-care and manage your energy levels. It’s easy to get caught up in the demands of the job, but taking care of yourself is essential for long-term success. And before you know it, your colleagues will be back, and it will be time to reflect on your experience and perhaps plan your own well-deserved break.


Surviving and thriving during the summer work season requires a combination of effective communication, realistic expectations, and a very much positive mindset. By understanding your responsibilities, being mentally ready to spect the unexpected, and taking advantage of the battles won when opportunities arise, you can make the most of this time in your favor.

But above all, balance your workload, enjoy the outdoors whenever possible, and remember…

When it doesn’t… well, you know, break the emergency glass and reach out to us!