If you’re a business owner or an office manager, your team’s productivity may be one of your most important considerations. You may have already concluded that there’s a direct relationship between your team’s group and individual morale and how much they accomplish. A more obvious and easily recognized relationship may be how employee burnout affects your team’s performance and productivity. One of the ways you can minimize employee burnout and help your team recharge and boost morale is through a Summer Fridays program.
What Are Summer Fridays?
Perhaps you’re wondering, “What are Summer Fridays?” You may be surprised that some companies began implementing the practice as long ago as the 1960s. Basically, during the weeks between Memorial Day and Labor day, employees can have Friday off, leave work early or exercise an option to take Friday off through an accumulated flextime arrangement. Depending on how demanding operational and staffing needs are, your company’s “Friday bonus” may also be a relaxed dress code or a free meals-and-snacks day.
Benefits of Reduced Summer Work Hours
Although it may appear that cutting the number of working hours reduces productivity, studies have shown the opposite can be true. Employees who work long hours could find that their output begins to decline when they work more than 50 hours a week. In addition to a Summer Fridays program providing employees with extra time to recharge before showing up on Monday, it’s an excellent way to boost morale.
A decline in morale can severely affect a business operation; an entire team could be imperiled by only one or two members developing a negative attitude. A Summer Fridays program could be an excellent way for a work group to maintain a beneficial work-life balance, which could increase productivity in addition to boosting morale. Employees are motivated by rewards, and shortened summer work weeks could easily be viewed as a reward for team performance.
Some companies have found that Summer Fridays work best when employees can choose their end-of-week option based on accumulated flextime. Depending on how an organization’s operational needs are structured, a work-at-home Friday may be an excellent way to meet operational needs while also providing your team members with the desired positive impact—taking the “commute factor” out of a workday once each week can also contribute to improved performance and morale.
Perks such as a Summer Fridays program can help a business retain and attract high-performance team members. Excessive employee turnover can damage a business. It’s best to hang on to your top talent. There’s also a cost to replacing employees, which can be more than “just” financial. During the time it takes to recruit and train a replacement, the remaining staff may need to increase their workload to cover the missing employee. Overloaded team members can become more susceptible to burnout.
Overall, a work group with a healthy work-life balance can significantly contribute to a business. The results can be seen in how employees interact with clients and customers. A team’s ability to better accommodate unexpected changes can also be enhanced when employees have more opportunities to recharge themselves.
Looking forward to a summer Friday can boost morale and motivation, whether in the form of a day off, a shortened day, or a commute-free work-at-home day.
Tips for Starting Summer Fridays in 2022
Before implementing a Summer Fridays policy, you’ll need to ensure it will work with your current staffing. Clients and customers come first, but you may still be able to offer your employees an attractive work-from-home Summer Fridays arrangement if your operation needs to run full-force Monday through Friday. You can incorporate digital platforms such as Zoom or Skype into a hybrid virtual office environment, making it easy for team members to communicate with each other when they’re not in your brick-and-mortar location.
It’s usually a good idea to ask your team for input before implementing a new policy. Find out what works for them in helping to maintain a healthy work-life integration. After considering what best serves both employee and operational needs, outline the new policy in writing. Suppose it looks like the new policy will be a long-term or permanent update of the work environment, it may be best to distribute a revised edition of the company’s employee handbook. This could be particularly important if employees have more than one option.
Starting a new policy typically involves some break-in time. It can be beneficial to solicit feedback while evaluating how the new arrangement affects productivity and operational needs. In the same way, employees need to balance their work and personal lives; your company needs to balance work-group and functional requirements. Review your new Friday policy after a few weeks and see how it’s working. Are both employees and the company benefitting? Consider using the digital interactive platforms that enable you to achieve the best of both worlds in a hybrid office setting.