How Summer Fridays Can Increase Productivity


Katie Alteri, Fora Financial

Summer is almost upon us, which means your employees will likely begin to plan their summer vacations, beach trips, or even weekly happy hours. Of course, that also means they could be asking if your business will be offering reduced Summer Friday hours, so they can make the most of the warm-weather months.

As an employer, you might be apprehensive to shorten your business hours, in fear of lowered productivity or reduced sales. Luckily, you can rest assured that it’s quite the opposite, as more and more companies are offering this perk to their employees and are seeing positive results because of it. According to CEB, 42 percent of organizations offer some type of reduced Summer Friday hours, whether that be a half day every Friday or allowing employees to choose a certain number of Fridays out of the summer to leave early.

If you decide to offer Summer Fridays to your employees, but still want to ensure your business has a constructive, lucrative season, it’s possible! In this post, we’ll explain how you can use Summer Fridays to your advantage, and how they can inspire your employees to work even harder than they typically do.


Think about it: How productive are your employees on Friday afternoons?

You might be nervous about shortening your workweek, but it’s important to be realistic about how productive your employees are during certain times. On a sunny Friday afternoon, are your employees at peak productivity, or are they checking their phones and counting down the minutes until they can head out for the weekend? Most likely, it’s the latter.

Instead of forcing employees to work a full Friday, provide them with some semblance of a reduced workday. You’ll likely benefit from rewarding employees with Summer Fridays, as 66 percent of companies that have flexible summer schedules have seen an increase in productivity, despite the shortened hours. Simply explain to your staff they’ll need to complete all work prior to leaving for the weekend, and watch how company efficiency skyrockets!


Summer Fridays = Increased focus and improved work quality

If you don’t offer your employees some type of Summer Friday early dismissal, they’ll likely be distracted and unmotivated to put forth their best work. In fact, happy employees are said to submit better quality work than their unsatisfied peers.

Due to this, you could be surprised at how employee performance improves when they know they have the incentive of a shorter Friday. Implement a Summer Friday policy, and monitor your employees’ performance during those months. More than likely, you’ll see employees put forth a stronger effort to earn Summer Fridays or policies like it in the future.


You’ll prevent burnout

Let’s face it. No one reaches peak productivity when they are stressed out at work. If your employees are overworked, they’ll become unenthusiastic, and their quality of work will likely diminish. According to a study published in 2015, employees who work more than 50 hours per week have reduced productivity.

Although many managers measure an employee’s success by the number of hours they put in at the office, you should instead try to gauge how effective employees are in their roles and if they’re meeting their individual and team goals. If employees are successfully completing tasks and fulfilling their designated roles, you’ll likely improve their work-life balance and contribute to their success at your company by giving them more time off during the summer months. In comparison, if you’re noticing your employees seem overburdened and seem unhappy, offering Summer Fridays might be a necessary step to boost morale.


Increase employee retention

If you provide reduced summer hours, that will be one more reason for employees to continue working at your company. According to a survey by Glassdoor, 80 percent of employees prefer perks over a raise. Due to this, you can retain your best employees by providing them with perks like Summer Fridays, instead of spending additional money to keep them!

When companies provide perks like flexible or reduced working hours, they are, in turn, increasing their employee retention. Having strong employee retention is crucial, as it can save you significant time and money you’d otherwise have to spend recruiting and training new hires. So, if you’re concerned about reduced productivity, consider how it will suffer if you lose key employees and are forced to replace them!


Deciding on the right Summer Friday rules for your business

Now that we’ve explained how Summer Fridays can improve productivity, it’s time to determine the best policy for your company. While some businesses offer half days on Fridays, others opt for letting their employees leave a few hours early or allow half of their staff to leave early on alternating Fridays. Ultimately, you’ll need to decide what is best for your company’s needs, in addition to considering the industry your business is in.

If your business has seen enhanced productivity due to Summer Friday’s, we want to hear from you! Share your experience with us in the comments below.

Katie Alteri is the content marketing coordinator at Fora Financial, a company that provides small business loans to businesses across the U.S.