Even if you aren’t a full-blown #LoveSummerHateEverythingElse believer, most of the population still enjoys a nice warm day in the sun. Which is all well and good –– until it’s not. Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is that when leisurely days of warm weather are on the brain, work is decidedly not.
Rainy days and Mondays always get us down, but they tend to make us a bit more productive, too. One study showed that men spent an average of 30 more minutes at work on rainy days than they did on sunny ones. Another study focused on Japanese bank workers found that assigned tasks were completed more quickly during bad weather, increasing overall productivity. Baby it’s cold outside, but it’s very efficient in here.
The reasons behind this lag in productivity are actually pretty easy to guess: when the weather is nice out, we want to be out in it, so our brains just aren’t as concerned with the tasks at hand. When the windows are sending a gloomier message, it’s easy to focus on what’s in front of us without the extra temptation.
But that summer-induced laziness doesn’t just have to do with distractions and lack of motivation – warmer months bring sunshine, but they also bring the heat. Literally.
When the temperatures start to fly a little too close to the sun, happiness levels drop off hard and fast. One study noted that days above 90 degrees Fahrenheit had a greater negative impact on perceived happiness than the after effects of separating from a spouse. Add onto that discomfort any serious level of humidity, and all our cognitive functions start to go foggy. People report feeling sleepy and tired when it’s muggy out, making concentration and productivity all that more elusive.
So when it comes to summertime sadness, or just laziness really, feel free to tell your boss it’s not your fault, it’s just the weather!