Now more than ever, employees are feeling burnt out at work. In one survey, over half of respondents said they experienced burnout in 2021, up from 43% before COVID-19. Current events, job insecurity, and the pandemic have caused many people to feel increased stress and anxiety.⁴
Companies originally began implementing a modified summer schedule, called “Summer Fridays,” to increase employee productivity and reduce burnout. Many people believe reduced summer hours could help today’s employees.³ So, what are summer Fridays? Do they work? Let’s take a look.
Summer Fridays allow employees to work half days on Fridays or take the day off altogether. Employers typically offer these summer hours on Fridays between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
This flexible scheduling started when ad agencies in New York City noticed that employees weren’t as productive during the summer months. They started losing focus earlier in the week, shifting into a “weekend mode.”¹ Employers started offering shorter workdays on Fridays to reduce burnout and keep employees from wasting time at work.
Agencies made that decision in the 1960s,³ and the trend has only continued today. There are multiple ways to implement summer Fridays depending on the needs of your business and employee preferences. Here are a few different ways you can start holding summer Fridays:
If you can’t afford to give employees an entire day off on Friday, offer them a half day of work. Set a time for employees to clock out on Fridays, or give them a specific amount of work to complete before leaving. That way, you avoid keeping workers in the office during the most unproductive hours of the week when they want to clock out before the end of their shift.³
You may decide to give employees a four-day workweek during the summer and let employees take Fridays off altogether. If needed, give employees a longer workday earlier in the week, hold summer Fridays every other week, or give employees a certain number of Fridays they can take off at their discretion so that they have time to complete their work.
Hybrid work models, where employees split time working from home and in office, have jumped in popularity over the past 10 years. There is a growing desire among employees for flexible work, and most employees want the chance to work from home a few days out of the week.²
If you can’t offer employees the day off, you could use summer Fridays to give your employees the luxury of working from home. Hybrid work schedules can help satisfy employees, increase worker productivity, and offer a flexible alternative to traditional summer Fridays.²
Some companies assume that giving employees time off during the summer will negatively affect revenue and productivity. However, studies have shown the exact opposite.¹
When companies implement summer Fridays, employees show increased satisfaction and loyalty to their employer. Giving employees a flexible summer schedule not only allows them to balance work and personal life but makes them happier and more trusting, too.¹
Shortened workweeks give employees more leisure time, which they can use to relax and strengthen their relationships outside of work. Studies have shown a correlation between satisfaction in employees’ personal lives and better productivity at work.¹
That means companies can implement summer Fridays without the fear of losing revenue or employee productivity. One survey showed that 66% of employees felt more productive with summer hours, not less. When companies give employees time off over the summer, it tells workers that executives value their well-being and health.¹
Summer Fridays are also a relatively inexpensive perk to offer employees and attract top talent. Research shows that employees are more productive, morale is better, and the turnover rate drops when companies allow some flexibility or shorter weeks.¹
While summer Fridays look different for each company, 43% of companies offer four-day workweeks to some employees, and 10% offer them to most or all employees.¹
As we said before, employees are beginning to expect companies to offer flexible work hours. If your competitors don’t offer summer Fridays, that can be an incentive to attract young talent to your company.¹ As flexible work hours become more popular, it will be essential for companies to satisfy employee expectations by offering hybrid work or flexible schedules.²
From summer Fridays to hybrid schedules, the workforce is continually changing.² According to FlexJobs, working parents say that flexible schedules and the ability to work from home have the greatest impact on their professional and at-home life.⁵
As companies adapt to flexible work, hybrid office tools like OfficeTogether can help employers manage employee schedules and office space. OfficeTogether is a desk reservation system that tracks when employees are in the office and makes it easy to reserve and schedule office rooms. Managers can see meeting room capacity to help them maximize space for hybrid meetings.
OfficeTogether allows hybrid companies to smoothly manage desk assignments and reservations and helps keep teams connected. Click here to see how we can help empower your employees to control their time and workspace needs.