How to Escape the Office on Summer Fridays (Without Getting Caught) 

By Rebecca Greenfield / Illustrations by Sam Island

Nothing's worse than sitting in a freezing office on a slow summer Friday. But don't just throw your jacket over your chair and sneak out. Prepare your bosses—and yourself, in case you're called upon to work after you've left—with these strategies for a blameless early exit.

DO
... Bring a laptop. And if you must use it, install F.lux, software that regulates the screen’s tint, making it easier to see, so your eyes won’t feel heavy and strained from staring at a bright screen outdoors.
DO
... Answer calls, but make them quick—and no FaceTime or video chats. “I would only do those to make the point that staff should be enjoying time off, too,” says Gary Oster, managing director at Project: Time Off.
DO
... Save all your work to the cloud so projects remain accessible. The app Quip allows shared access of documents or spreadsheets. Need something on your desktop? Another app, Screens, logs in remotely from an iPhone.
DO
... Get a little crafty. If you have a private office, borrow smart-home technology: When you leave, shut the door and use a Nest thermostat to control the lights from afar. Tap them off at 6 p.m. from your lake house.
DON’T
... Leave before you leave (Sheryl Sandberg reference!). Earn your exit with a productive 8 a.m. start. Or try to schedule phone calls for Friday morning. Clients will either bite or, ideally, move them to Thursday.
DON’T
... Check e-mail every five seconds. Get the team onto a group-chat platform, such as Slack or HipChat; they have mobile apps that allow you to set up alerts if someone says your name or posts something important.
DON’T
... Hide your weekend bag. It signals to colleagues you’re headed out early. “I brought a backpack with a tent and kept it by my desk,” says Justin LaFontaine, art director at Huge, an ad agency. “Great conversation starter.”
DON’T
... Be the person glued to your phone poolside, answering e-mails or blabbing with your boss in front of friends and family. Download the Breather service to book quiet, empty office space to bang out tasks in solitude.