Summer Hours: Do We Really Need Them?
The dog days of summer are (hopefully) behind us, which means Summer Fridays are, too. That means we’re back to the 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday grind. We’re not complaining, though. Really. Many companies don’t offer “summer hours,” and we’re pretty lucky to work for a company that does.
In fact, MBB Agency was ahead of its time when it started offering flexible schedules in the summer. Our agency has been providing this work perk for almost seven years, long before this benefit became the norm. According to CEB, a consulting company, in 2017 over 40% of companies around the country offered a “summer hour” work perk in some form or fashion. That number doubled between 2015 and 20171.
What are summer hours and why do we have them?
“Summer hours” (or whatever a company may choose to call them) look different for every company. In a nutshell, it provides flexibility from the typical work schedule, most commonly in the summer. This may mean coming in early so you can leave early, working from home more frequently, only working a half-day every other Friday…or every Friday! Some companies make employees fit that additional time off into their Monday-Thursday schedule. Others don’t limit the flexibility to summers and provide modified Friday hours all year round. At MBB, our Summer Fridays start the week of Memorial Day and extend until the week of Labor Day. During that time, we have the opportunity to leave at 12:30 PM on Friday afternoons. This does, however, depend on client meetings and an individual’s current workload.
MBB chose to give our employees this soft benefit in order to increase employee engagement, improve workplace morale and attract top talent. Summer hours helps prevent burnout in our employees and allow them to maintain a positive work-life balance. Moreover, allowing employees to take more time off has actually been linked to higher employee productivity2.
Why summers? Why Fridays? It is no secret that there are times of the day and days of the week (even seasons of the year!) that are more productive than others. Friday at 4:00 PM just isn’t one of them — and, that’s okay!
What do we do during our summer hours?
Ah, the ultimate question….how to use this extra time? Because it truly feels like getting an extra four hours back in your life. Personally, I like to mix it up a bit. One Friday I might spend four hours cleaning the house. Top. To. Bottom. The next, you’ll catch me poolside…sans my three minions. On occasion, I’ll pay it forward to my nanny and spend the afternoon with said minions. Any way I spend it, it is always time well spent.
As for the rest of the agency…how we use our time varies. Some people use it to hit the road for a long weekend and some simply like to hit the hay. Others use it to kick-start their side gigs while some kick it with friends. But the one thing we can almost all agree on…Target is a must. Below is a chart of how MBB employees use their four free hours:
On a level of one to ten on how important summer hours are to employees at MBB (with 1 being not at all and 10 being “I wouldn’t work at a company without them”), the average answer was an 8.5, which I have dubbed “We’re thankful for them but still can’t live without them.”
But, don’t take my word for it. Here’s what people have to say about Summer Fridays at MBB.
- “It (seems like) a small perk that makes a huge difference for employees! It makes me feel trusted to get my work done, valued as an employee for the little work-life balance perk, and makes it that much easier to get out of bed on a Friday :)”
- “SUMMER FRIDAYS ARE MY JAM!”
- “I find myself being more productive on Fridays because I know I have a limited window of time to finish work. I’m very thankful for Summer Fridays, and they really help me with work-life balance.”
- “It’s something I look forward to all year. It’s so nice to have extra time with my son and to get some much-needed Vitamin D.”
We’re sad to see you go, Summer Fridays, and we’ll welcome you with open arms when you return next May.