If visions of cool pool water are popping into your head, perhaps it’s time.
It wasn’t that long ago that casual Friday’s came into being. It wasn’t because employees were expected to work less on Fridays or that work was any less important. It was just a way to ease the stress and give everyone a little something to look forward to while keeping motivation up. And the concept worked.
In recent years, many companies have begun to implement a shortened workweek during the summer months. Some eliminate Friday’s all together and others choose a different day or have made the end of day at noon on specified days.
According to many business owners, the change has been a positive one in many different ways. If you’ve been mulling over the idea, here’s some of the reasons why you may want to make summer hours a thing in your company.
Whether you shorten the work week to 4 days, offer your team the option of working from home on certain days or even opt for half-days on Fridays, companies that have adopted summer hours report that their teams are more productive as a result of the change. What they’ve found is that employees make the most of their time while they’re at work, so there’s less time wasted which directly translates into higher productivity. And it’s important to note that workers are not simply packing as much work as they can into 4 days or working 12 hour days so they can have that 3-day weekend. On the contrary, they’re simply working smarter.
Jason Fried, CEO of 37signals, a software company, says that his team enjoys a shortened workweek May through October and the results have been nothing but positive including better work getting accomplished in 4 days than in 5.
In the 1960’s, business owners discovered that there was a noticeable dip in productivity and morale during the summer months. In fact, a survey done by Captivate Network showed that employees were 45 percent more distracted during the summer months. What was happening was that employee’s moods were shifting into the weekend “gear” before the actual workweek was over. Daydreaming of lounging poolside? Perhaps. But whatever the reason, those companies that recognized the change were some of the first to implement summer Fridays. Alas, a new mood was emanating from the team that was positive and happy. Team members looked forward to their Fridays off and were more inclined to work hard and remain productive in anticipation of their 3-day weekend.
Summer hours not only increase productivity and boost morale, they decrease absenteeism. It only makes sense that if your team members know that they will not be in the office one day a week or will only be working a half day on certain days, they’ll be less inclined to miss a day. Employees who work for companies with summer hours are more engaged, have an increased focus, and are motivated to achieve all their goals and meet deadlines so they can enjoy that time off. Research shows that employee attendance falls by 19 percent during the summer months, but with flexible scheduling, you can ensure that your staff doesn’t slip into that category.
If you’re considering making summer hours a thing in your business, you may be on the right track. After all, increasing productivity, improving morale, and inspiring better attendance can never be bad. Many companies actually sit down with their teams and discuss the option ahead of time to get their take on the change. If cutting an entire day out of the workweek seems undoable, perhaps a half-day or the option to work from home is better. It all depends on the specific needs of your company and you can customize it to make it ideal for you and your team.