Making Summer Hours Work for Your Business


    Businesses across the country tend to be quieter on Fridays during the summer. Employees are away on vacations. Others are feigning illness so they can take a day off to enjoy the weather (a tactic used, at one point or another, by 39 percent of full-time employees). And more often than most are willing to admit, employees daydream about the weekend ahead or worry what their kids are up to at home alone.

    Many businesses now are offering “Summer Fridays” or summer hours, typically beginning after Memorial Day and ending with Labor Day. In fact, a 2017 survey by Gartner of more than 200 employers found that 42 percent of respondents offered some form of flexible summer hours, up 21 percent from just two years earlier.

    Many businesses hope that offering a modified summer schedule will lead to improved employee morale and provide greater work-life balance while combating the work slowdown that occurs (at least for many businesses) over the summer. As a result, employees will be happier, more productive and invested in the long-term success of their company. Knowing they can leave early, or better yet, not come in at all on Friday serves as an incentive to keep employees focused the rest of the week.

    “Setting flexible work schedules during the summertime helps employees recharge their energy and keeps them working at their peak levels. As a result, employees are working fewer hours but getting more done,” explained HR expert and serial entrepreneur Steve Wang.

    This approach is supported by a study conducted by Opinion Research Corporation which reported that 66 percent of people who work for companies with summer hours felt more productive as a result of their flexible schedule. Taking time off prevents burnout, without diminishing the quality of employee contributions.

    “Employee productivity follows the law of diminishing returns. The more hours your employees are required to work, the less productive they’ll be for each additional hour,” said Wang.

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