With the summer firmly upon us, a few of the team have already enjoyed a week or two in the sun and it has been suggested in the office that, after a holiday break, employees could really do with a phased return to work to get back into the swing! Whilst we’d be up for that when it is US suffering the post-holiday hangover blues, we might think differently if it was company-wide.
HR180 came across an alternative from across the pond which might float your boat as the week draws to a close…Summer Fridays. MD and founder of HR180, Claire Morley-Jones, considers why this might be good for business.
By Claire Morley-Jones
In spite of the rather changeable British weather, come Thursdays in summer all we can think about is getting out of work and into the weekend. And it can make businesses less productive as the clock ticks slower and slower through Friday…
In this austerity era, the time of budget constraints keeping pay rises on the low side (or zero!), how to keep employees happy can be quite a struggle. How about offering flexible working hours on a Friday?
It is THE employment trend of the year in the US (and now hovering on the UK horizon) – the ‘Summer Friday’.
The US trend
Almost half of 200 US employers surveyed by the CEB this year are letting employees leave early during the summer months. The number of companies offering this benefit is on the up with an exponential rise in the last 2 years compared with the previous 3 – see the chart in this piece by Bloomberg.
Can you run Summer Fridays in your organisation?
It is a pay off between giving time off as a less productive time in the week and perhaps offering a pay rise – it has to work for you as well as you employees.
This is NOT a free-for-all day off every Friday. It might just be the ability to close the doors to the business in the afternoon and leave a little early. Or if the organisation’s style of work allows it, everyone can go home (the park, beach etc…) so long as the decision makers’ mobiles are left on. This could be just for the duration of the school summer holidays or specific dates which suit the business.
Why do it?
HR180’s ten tips for Summer Friday fun!
1. You must think about how you do business – service industries will find this the easiest to manage.
2. Make it easy to understand with a defined cut off – lunchtime, 2 pm or leave at 4pm
3. Have a defined calendar period this will apply to – even if it is just a few weeks in August, say.
4. If you really mean it, you MUST see it through and engage your employees to take this paid time off – and managers should be the ones to lead on this.
5. However, the work still has to be done – so do keep on top of deadlines.
6. If you can’t close the business totally, can you allow workers to work remotely?
7. Tell your customers – they may be a little surprised but so long as the service they receive does not suffer, and they know how to contact you, you might well find they pick up on this trend themselves!
8. Be contactable! If urgent issues are arising with clients, then they MUST be able to get to a decision maker during the ‘Summer Friday’ time period.
9. Make sure your employee policies are transparent and communicated to your workforce so everyone is on the same page.
10. Ask your HR professional to help you develop your strategy and assist you in broadcasting it throughout your organisation.
Are you up for Summer Friday fun?
We’d love to hear from you about your plans, so keep in touch.
If you need a bit of guidance as to how to achieve work-life balance in your organisation we are the people for your people. Let one of our superhero team guide you through the options and we provide a free assessment of your needs. See below for contact details and speak to you soon.
Leeds based HR180 is a team of superheroes in HR Outsourcing, Projects and Consultancy committed to work in partnership with organisations of all sizes to establish working policies to go above and beyond Employment Law requirements, to protect both employees and employers alike. We love to hear from you, so call us on 0113 287 8150 or hit the Rescue Me button.