Hottest Thing Going—Summer Fridays

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summer fridays

When the temperature rises, productivity goes down.  Summer Fridays are a hot entry for companies looking for new engagement opportunities.

There was a time when companies carefully tracked holiday and vacation time.  Today, while back office software products can do just that, smart human resource managers are looking at how to use time to improve engagement practices.

What are Summer Fridays?

Summer Fridays is a collective name for flexible scheduling options that come into play during the summer months.  Special summertime schedule options can last for a month, several—or continue after the summer months have concluded.  Just a few of the possibilities include:

  • Time off: Employees are given a half-day or other portion of Friday (or other day of the week) off, usually with pay.
  • Compressed schedules: Talent is given the opportunity to complete the same amount of work in less time.  This varies by industry, and by job type, but the upshot is that a compressed schedule offers employees an incentive during the summer months to complete their work—and look forward to a longer weekends.
  • Compressed schedule with flexibility: Whereas a compressed schedule is usually set, employers can offer workers the opportunity to work flexibly to complete their work and be done for the day.  This could be workers who come in early each day to complete work, and take a half day off on Friday.
  • Flexible scheduling: While meeting benchmarks and expectations, employees are allowed to set their own hours.

There are many ways to arrange—and rearrange—scheduling, depending on employer, employee, and job description.  Why the creative push to manage the summertime blues?  Because for many employers—it works.

How time off boosts productivity

We talked earlier about engagement practices and the financial loss associated with job churn.  Keeping good employees is important for staying competitive and creative in the marketplace.  That means fine tuning talent acquisition and retention strategies.

Since Millennials are now the largest demographic group in the U.S. workforce, it pays to understand what methods increase loyalty, productivity, and job satisfaction among this group.  Composed of people born between 1980 and about 2000, Millennials are distinctly different from workers who populated the job market decades earlier.

A couple of interesting facts noted by a White House report on Millennials include:

  • While social capital is important to Millennials, they are more likely to value personal connection with their community, family, and friends. Many Millennials retain strong relationships with their parents.  Engagement practices that allow Millennials to tend to personal values are likely to pay off.
  • As the first generation raised on the Internet, Millennials are tech-savvy, and inquisitive. More than 60 percent of Millennials are college graduates, compared to less than 50 percent of Baby Boomers.  In the right roles, these workers are adaptable and forward moving—great qualities for an economy breaking fast on new technology.
  • Under the right conditions, Millennials are more loyal to employers than previously thought. Recent job statistics argue that fewer workers are changing jobs at present, even as the economy and job market improves.
  • Compared to earlier generations, women in the Millennial group have greater wage equity than their predecessors. Despite better balance of work/life considerations, the greater burden of childcare still often falls to women.  With greater presence—and greater pay—creating engagement strategies that offer flexible timing could prove a winner in retaining these valuable employees.

For many employers and HR managers who try flexible scheduling, the results are increased productivity, better job satisfaction, boosted referral rates from current employees, and better employer profile in the industry.

Still, some employers report that flexible schedules—in the summer and beyond—impact company culture in a negative way, softening structure, and reducing productivity.  Regardless of experience, there are always workers who take undue advantage of the perk—an indication that the worker is probably not a good company fit.

Try it, you might like it

If considering Summer Friday arrangements, start small.  Announce the program and its length.  Ensure the trial policy is communicated to all participants in writing.  Instead of the entire summer, try a “month of Friday’s” and pick four Fridays during the summer to try flexible timing options.  If your productivity stays up, or improves, and your employees are happier and more relaxed, you may have a relatively low cost engagement perk that works.

Even with flexible scheduling, tracking time is important.  When you are looking for effective software to manage timesheets and invoices—talk to us at Brightmove.  After that—enjoy the summer!


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