What Are Summer Office Hours and Should You Offer Them to Employees?

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In an effort to attract and retain workers, employers offer nontraditional perks across various industries. It is not uncommon for companies to implement summer office hours, such as Fridays off or reduced work hours, in order to give their employees a break.

The history of Summer Fridays isn’t clear. However, some sources say it began in New York City during the 1960s when advertising executives would drive early on Friday morning to the Hamptons, a rich, rural area on Long Island.

By the 21st century, 55% of employers offered summer Fridays. There are more summer hours schedule components than just Summer Fridays.

Are you new to summer hours? If so, we will explain why your business needs summer hours and how to implement them.

You can offer your employees flexibility during the summer.

During the summer, staying productive at work can be challenging — to say the least. It’s a popular time of year to take vacations, visit family, and otherwise stay away from work. As a result of these factors, as well as the temptation to skip work to enjoy nice weather, summers are less productive.

If you offer summer hours, your employees can plan their work around vacations and holidays. When productivity dips, and projects take longer to complete, employees are more likely to complete them if they are provided incentives. In addition, employees are more likely to front-load their work week during summer hours.

Increased productivity during the summer.

Continuing from the previous point, weather-based timetables make employees happier and more productive. Are you aware that happy people are also 12% more productive? This is a win-win situation for both your employees and your company.

As a result of the increased focus, employees can accomplish more tasks. The assumption is often made that remote work on Fridays or on days off will negatively impact productivity. The opposite is true, according to Opinion Research Corporation. In the study, 66% of employees who enjoy summer hour benefits are more productive.

Further, the 4 Day Week Global Foundation undertook a study in 2022 to determine the implications of a four-day work week, similar to the schedules of some businesses during the summer. The study found that businesses with reduced work hours were more productive and performed better. In some cases, revenue increased for these organizations.

There is an upswing in morale among employees.

When the weather outside is nice, your employees might feel demotivated. However, when morale is low during the middle of the year, summer hours are a great way to boost it. This gives them something to look forward to at the end of the week.

Also, an employee’s morale affects his or her satisfaction rate. The CEO of Ivy Exec, Elena Bajic, agrees:

“We noticed an increase [in] employee morale and all the good things that go with that, such as higher retention, candidate attraction, and productivity” following the implementation of summer hours.

It is through all of these things that employee satisfaction can be improved. When there is a high level of employee morale, teammates work together more closely and are more self-confident.

A higher level of employee satisfaction.

In order to increase employee satisfaction, companies can emphasize work-life balance and summer hours. This leads to more loyal employees and fewer employee departures.

Absenteeism decreases.

Employees are allowed to take vacations or other obligations during summer hours, reducing absenteeism. Therefore, it is possible to run the workplace smoothly, and the costs of replacing absent employees are reduced.

As stated by Circadian in their ‘Absenteeism: The Bottom-Line Killer,’ unscheduled absences cost hourly workers roughly $3,600 per year. For salaried employees, it costs roughly $2,650 per year.

A greater level of creativity among employees.

Taking time off for vacations or sick leave encourages employees to be more creative, according to research. By doing so, new ideas and innovations can be generated.

An increase in employee health and well-being.

It is also beneficial to your health to have summer hours. When your employees constantly work without time to play, their health can quickly deteriorate. In your role as an employer, you must promote a healthy work environment.

In the words of the Families and Work Institution’s Senior Director of Research, Ken Matos, “The simple reality is that work, both mental and physical, results in fatigue that limit the cognitive and bodily resources people have to put towards their work.”

Furthermore, your employees will benefit from summer schedules after working a 4- or 4.5-day week in hot weather. Employees with Fridays off can also take a 3-day vacation to relieve stress and prevent burnout.

You can also reap long-term benefits from providing your employees with sick days or mental health days. As well as increasing employee engagement, corporate healthcare costs will likely decrease.

An improved company culture.

Additionally, summer hours can contribute to a more relaxed, fun work environment. The result is an increase in employee engagement and productivity.

As Patrick Whitesell, Co-CEO of WME, puts it bluntly, “You can have all the right strategy in the world; if you don’t have the right culture, you’re dead.”

Trust and respect are demonstrated.

Offering flexible summer work hours is one of the most important benefits of showing respect to your employees. By providing this key benefit, employers signal to workers that they can trust them to take care of their responsibilities to the fullest extent possible on Fridays.

Typically, these gestures of trust increase employee engagement and loyalty.

Retention, sustainability, and cost savings are improved.

Again, summer hours are becoming increasingly important when recruiting and retaining top talent in an increasingly competitive job market. Because of this, companies are becoming increasingly dependent on flexible working arrangements. One way to demonstrate that your business is flexible is by offering summer hours to your employees.

Also, by shutting down the entire office every week, businesses will save on electricity and other operational costs. In addition, your sustainable business model can contribute to the conservation of natural resources.

Costs associated with turnover were reduced.

It can be expensive to hire, train, and replace an employee. However, turnover costs can be reduced by summer hours.

According to some studies, it costs a business on average 6 to 9 months’ salary to replace a salaried employee. For example, recruiting and training expenses typically amount to $30k to $45,000 for an employee earning $60k a year.

Enhanced customer service.

When employees are happier and more productive, they are more likely to provide good customer service. Customer satisfaction and loyalty can increase, boosting the company’s profitability.

Conclusion.

When offering summer hours to your employees, there are a few things to consider. The first step is ensuring that your company can handle the reduced hours without sacrificing productivity. Additionally, it would be best to inform your employees well before the change so they can plan accordingly. Lastly, it would be best if you were flexible and willing to adjust your schedule as needed.

Summer hours can boost employee morale, productivity, and loyalty. With summer hours, your company can attract top talent and improve profits.

FAQs

What are summer hours for companies?

It is common for employees to have Fridays off during the summer, between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Some companies give employees the afternoon off, while others give them the entire day off. Summer hours have become more popular since fewer workers took time off before the pandemic.

How do summer hours work?

Each company has different summer hours. Generally, summer hours are as follows:

  • Flexible work schedules. Each week, an employee can work a certain number of hours. The hours can, however, be scheduled in a way that suits the individual. Work may be started or ended earlier or later, or a day off might be possible during the week.
  • Compressed workweek. In some cases, an employee works more than a full day a week, but he or she receives one day off. The employee can work 10 hours per day, four days per week, or 9 hours per day, five days per week, and take Friday off.
  • Summer Fridays. It is possible to approach summer Fridays in a variety of ways. In some businesses, employees are required to make up the missed time on Fridays. Others stagger Fridays off to keep someone at work. It’s also popular for employers to allow employees to work a half-day on Fridays to have an afternoon off. You can offer your employees half days every Friday, or they can leave early on Fridays.

What are the benefits of summer hours?

Summer hours have numerous benefits for both employers and employees. The following are some of the most common benefits:

For employees:

  • With greater flexibility and control, work-life balance can be achieved.
  • Stress is reduced.
  • Improved morale.
  • Productivity increases.
  • The number of leisure activities available has increased.

For employers:

  • A company’s ability to attract and retain top talent.
  • The employee satisfaction rate increased.
  • Increased productivity engagement.
  • Absenteeism decreases.
  • Healthcare savings.

What are the drawbacks of summer hours?

Summer hours have some disadvantages, but the benefits usually outweigh them. The following are some of the biggest drawbacks:

For employees:

  • New work schedules can be challenging to adjust to.
  • It can be difficult to find childcare outside of traditional hours.
  • Non-traditional hours might make staying in touch with colleagues and clients difficult.

For employers:

  • It can be difficult to coordinate employee schedules.
  • Serving your customers is hard when you don’t work traditional hours.
  • Non-traditional hours make it difficult to maintain productivity.

If your company has summer hours, how can you make it work?

Summer hours can seem daunting at first. Consider your approach carefully and communicate clearly if you want summer hours to succeed.

To help you implement summer hours, here are a few tips:

  • Getting feedback is key. Consult with everyone, from management to employees, and gather as much information as you can. Do they have any suggestions for a better approach? Is there anything they’re worried about?
  • Make sure summer hours are clearly communicated. This shouldn’t be an excuse for people to slack off. You are offering your employees this benefit to give them a better work-life balance, not to decrease their productivity.
  • Define your policy clearly. To avoid bumps in the road, your policy should be clear enough. Keep your policy simple and uncomplicated to avoid confusion and ambiguity. Writing the policy is definitely a good idea so your workers can refer to it when they need it. The policy should also state when summer hours end and begin, as well as what they involve. You should also define how summer hours work at your company. It could be a half-day Friday or working remotely.
  • Expect some hiccups. Whenever you make a change, you’ll experience hiccups at first. Don’t rush the process. Be patient.

Image Credit: Photo by Ádám Pálvölgyi; Pexels; Thank you! 

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