Are Summer Fridays the Key to Employee Happiness?

July 26, 2022

Many organizations, including our own here at H3 HR, institute a “Summer Fridays” program in the summer months. The specifics of an individual organization’s approach to Summer Fridays can differ, but generally speaking the program involves working shorter weeks, Monday through Thursday during the summer months with Fridays as “off” days or, designating Fridays as “half days” with “work” ending around mid-day. Either way, employees get more time off, more time to enjoy the summer, and get a little respite from the Monday through Friday grind. 

While implementing a Summer Friday program seems obvious to be happily embraced by most employees, just what does the research say about the true impact of these programs on employee experience or morale? 

Recent data from a survey, commissioned by software company Wisetail and conducted by OnePoll, examined Summer Friday programs and the associated impact that weather conditions may have on productivity — finding 73% of employees believe the weather directly impacts how they work. 

But the polling data also suggests Summer Fridays are important to employees feeling happier at work. 

Fifty-nine percent of 2,000 working adults surveyed revealed their jobs offer some form of Summer Fridays — being allowed a shorter workday or a full day off on occasional Fridays during the summer season. And notably, over eight in 10 employees – 85% – say they benefit from this perk because it makes them feel much happier at work. 

Employers have also seen the benefits of implementing Summer Fridays programs – many have found that employees spending fewer hours in the office actually leads workers to get more done, not less. Additional research has shown that 66% of employees who use Summer Fridays feel it boosts their productivity, helping to reverse any effects of a summer downturn in productivity. 

Some suggestions for employers to have success with Summer Fridays programs include: 

Rotating the specific Fridays certain people take off. For example, some employees might take Summer Fridays on the first and third weeks of the month, while others would then take time off on the second and fourth weeks. 

Next, ensure the rules of the policy are communicated to all employees and managers. Be sure that your company shares the specifics of the plan with all employees in all locations, including those who work remotely. 

Finally, take steps to apply the policy fairly for all. If your workplace offers hybrid working, with some employees working in the office and others mainly working from home, be sure that your company offers the same Summer Friday benefits to all. Virtual workers should enjoy the same Summer Fridays perk as their colleagues. 

Perhaps you are enjoying a Summer Friday this week yourself – if so, make it a great one! 

Note: For an audio version of this post, published on the Workplace Minute show, please visit hrhappyhour.net.

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