Why you should institute summer Fridays in your workplace

Rear view portrait of young man with backpack standing on a mountain with arms spread open

‘Tis the season for workplace distractions and low productivity. At least that’s the theory behind summer Fridays—when companies give employees the day off, a partial day off or flexible Friday hours.

According to a 2012 Ultimat Vodka study , employees who enjoyed summer hours were happier and actually more productive during working hours than employees who weren’t given the perk. In fact, 87 percent of survey participants who were offered summer Fridays said they contributed to a healthy work-life balance and 76 percent believed summer Friday policies boosted productivity.

Even better, a 2012 Captivate Network study  reveals workplace productivity drops 20 percent during the summer months, not to mention, employees are 45 percent more distracted. By providing summer Fridays to employees, companies can curb low productivity, capitalize on a distraction-prone office, eliminate burnout and boost overall productivity and work-life balance.

If you’re lucky enough to work for a company that offers summer Fridays, we hope you enjoy your season of increased work-life balance. But, if you need inspiration for how to incorporate summer Fridays at your office, check out these five ideas.

State your case
Why should your company offer summer Fridays? Focus on answering that question, rather than asking your boss for a day off. Be sure to lay out the pros: summer Fridays boost productivity, increase employee happiness, avoid burnout and foster a better work-life balance that helps current company culture and entices future hires.

Offer options
When presenting the idea of summer Fridays to your team, make sure you do the heavy lifting first. If you have a small team, consider creating a schedule that allows employees to alternate taking Fridays off all summer. If your business requires someone to man the phones or keep an eye on email all day, perhaps your team can divide and conquer Friday hours and team members can benefit from the flexibility.

Be flexible
No two companies or managers are alike, so remember to be patient and flexible if your manager suggests an option that doesn’t quite align with your dream scenario. He or she may not feel comfortable allowing the whole day off, but is open to a partial day or simply a few hours of flexibility. Remember that something is better than nothing and to take advantage of any wiggle room he or she is willing to provide.

Trial run
If your manager is still wary, consider a trial run. Once he or she realizes that work is still getting completed, employees are happier and nothing is falling through the cracks, summer Fridays may become a seasonal fixture.

If you’re given the green light for Fridays off or early release, make sure you walk the walk. Use your Friday freedom to do absolutely anything other than work from home, which won’t help you fight burnout or boost work-life balance. Beat traffic to the mountains, relax by the pool or tackle chores at home—anything but checking email!

Author: Stephanie Sample

July 18, 2017