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A Mutually Beneficial Relationship: How Summer Hours Help Productivity

The summer months can be an unrelenting distraction as employees begin to fantasize about relaxing poolside, sipping on summery cocktails, and mentally envisioning their upcoming vacations. But, lo and behold, there is a proven strategy for motivating your employees this summer as well as yielding positive results for your company – flexible summer hours.

For employers, the fact of the matter is that the work isn’t going anywhere. For many companies, the workloads are actually increasing over time due to yet another month of non-recovered U.S. economy. Regardless of the current job market, there is never an ideal time for productivity levels to fall, period. When it comes to employee satisfaction and boosting productivity, employee perks are at the height of their popularity. The surprising effects of flexible working hours in the summer are worth considering.

How it works

There are a variety of ways to switch up the working schedules for your employees in order to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship. For example, some companies require full working hours Monday through Thursday during the summer time with the bonus of a shortened workday on Friday. What does this mean for employees? A “long” weekend, every weekend. Your employees have a light at the end of the tunnel and something to look forward to at the end of every week. This employee perk is a portrayal of employee appreciation, one that will not go unnoticed.

Other successful summer arrangements include a compressed workweek, having one day off per week, or even being able to work from home one of these days. The options are quite endless and a simple shift can have significant results.

Each company is different and careful thought needs to take place prior to any implementation. There are many companies and organizations that are depended on at all hours during the day, making it difficult to offer flexible working hours. But, by finding a way to give your employees a boost when they need it most during these summer months, the end result appears to be a highly lucrative business decision.

Why it works

You may be thinking, “How could reduced hours and time off result in higher productivity?” Sure, the more time you have to work, the more time you have to check items off of the to-do lists, but a happier employee seems to work even more efficiently. Opinion Research Corporation conducted research regarding the effects of summer hours by questioning Americans themselves. Of those surveyed, 66 percent feel they are more productive during the week, while only 26 percent reported the alternative.

The ability to maintain a balance between work lives and personal lives is the key indicator of employee satisfaction and morale. Employers can and should play a role in balancing this seesaw. By providing employees with the option of a slightly shortened work week in the summer, you better believe they will effectively manage their time in order to complete their tasks throughout the week. Monetary bonuses and salary raises may be out of the question, but offering employees summer hours is a perk guaranteed to bring a ray of the summer sunshine into the office.

The benefits of satisfied employees should never go overlooked. By finding ways to give your employees the added motivation and a little pat on the back, you will notice drastic changes in employee morale and even better retention rates in the future of your company. Not to mention, this positive change to your company culture may be the reason you landed your next “A-player” hire.

Do you see the benefits in flexible summer hours? How else can you re-focus and reward employees during the distracting summer months?

IMAGE: Courtesy of Come Recommended.

Heather Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Spark Hire. She writers career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets, and is the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010). Connect with Heather and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.

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