5 Ways to Stay Energized at Work During the Summer

The warmer months mean vacations and other distractions, but they also offer a few ways to get ahead professionally.

If Memorial Day kicked off (unofficially, at least) the start of summer, then it has also commenced the season when thoughts of beach vacations and cookouts start impinging on the work of entry-level employees, corporate bosses, and the workers in between. In a 2023 Korn Ferry survey, 46% of professionals said that the quality of their work slumps in the summer. That decline in focus can be a drag—not only on a company’s productivity, but also on an employee’s career.

Indeed, being unmotivated during the summer can affect your ability to meet goals later in the year, says Mark Royal, a senior client partner for Korn Ferry Advisory. “It can negatively impact your image and personal brand within the organization,” he says.

So how do you stay engaged when the temperature rises? Korn Ferry experts offer some tips, and suggest how you might even take advantage of some unique opportunities during the summer.

Look for chances to stand out.

Plenty of colleagues likely will be taking time off from the office. Asking to take on more work while many colleagues are out of the office makes an impression on bosses. “It’s an opportunity to polish your brand within the organization and expand the perception people have of your capabilities,” says Royal.

Switch things up.

Simple changes—like working outdoors instead of indoors, or at a coffee shop instead of at home—support engagement and renew excitement, says Val Olson, a career and leadership coach at Korn Ferry Advance. “Slumps can happen due to a lack of variety. Variety is the spice of life,” she says.

If you can’t get out of the office, try rearranging the furniture or adding new decor to revive a tiresome space. Varying your surroundings can be energizing and aid focus.

Figure out what energizes you.

More people on vacation often means fewer meetings and emails. Experts say you can use this lull to reflect on, and pursue, the aspects of the job that most engage you. Being able to find meaning and value will help motivate you during any downtime, as well as when the workload heats back up.

Connect with clients, coworkers, and bosses.

Face time with clients—or potential clients—is almost always critical to strengthening a relationship. During summer slowdowns, ask if your client has time to grab a coffee or lunch. Don’t just shoot the breeze either; find out what’s vexing them professionally. A summer meet-up can lead to more business.

Take the same attitude with your colleagues. Listen to them, and offer to help them with any work. Assisting colleagues with their workloads so they can relax promotes organizational goodwill. “Show concern for them personally by helping them out with their vacation situation,” says Royal. And fewer people in the office means new opportunities to connect with management, whether it’s to ask for feedback or discuss opportunities for growth.

Make time to recharge.

Coworkers may be going on lavish multi-day summer vacations to relax, but people working full-time need to build small moments into their routine to rejuvenate. Experts say everyone should seek out realistic opportunities to replenish their energy. Vitality and excitement foster personal excellence, and can help you avoid feeling stagnant during the summer, Royal says: “Stay balanced, and don’t neglect your own need to recharge.”


For more career advice, connect with a career coach at Korn Ferry Advance.