Summer Hours: Helping Or Hurting Your Company?

Friday June 10, 2016

Summer has arrived. The weather is warm, the snows are gone, and people want to be outside enjoying that sunshine. So is it any wonder that towards the end of the week, the work production takes a noticeable dip and your employees begin to excitedly regale each other with their plans for the weekend?

Of course not!

Like the song says “everybody’s working for the weekend.” Everyone (unless you work on the weekends) takes that recognizable tone of anticipation when looking forward to their days of rest, and their mood almost automatically improves!

This excitement and increased social activity with friends and family has led many companies, for a variety of reasons, to introduce “summer hours” to their workers. Whether it is every Friday off, every other Friday off, a reduced work day, or a combination of all of these elements, there is something about the months between May and September that bring out the very best in management.

But, is it altruism and a desire to make employees happy, or is it something else? Is offering summer hours bad for business?

Absolutely not! In fact, it is the exact opposite! And managers know it.  

The Benefits of Summer Hours:

Productivity: A study from Ultimat Vodka showed that employees who benefit from reduced summer hours can be 45% more productive during the normal hours they work during the week. What is more, studies have also shown that people are almost 46% more distracted during the summer months and offering summer hours can be a great deterrent to that.

Work Life Balance: By having more hours to themselves, employees are able to find a better work life balance, and are generally happier and easier to interact with during the day. Summer hours also offer a goal for employees to work toward and that can be a powerful motivator to get things done.

Ideal Work Environment: Some people come alive in the morning. Some are more productive in the afternoon when the pressure is on. By offering summer hours, employees can sculpt their ideal work environment by incorporating the freedom and independence at the end of the week, and making sure their work is done before they leave.

Employee Trust: When an employer surveys his team about the appropriate time off during the summer, it builds trust. When he lets his workers know that he is putting them in charge of their individual efforts and taking out the micro-management, it gives them a reason to return that favor, and work harder to achieve what they need to as professional adults.