Summer hours are a popular employee perk, and a proven incentive to attract new talent. The Globe and Mail reported that a new survey of 400 Canadian office workers and managers shows 81% want flexible schedules or early leave time on Fridays during the summer.
But do the benefits of Friday afternoons off, or other types of summer schedules, cost you in lost productivity?
Not at all. In fact, employees typically work better in the summer months when they know they’re getting some extra daylight hours during the week to be with their families, or even just with their lawn chair. That fact was recently confirmed by US News which reported that 66% of those who operate on summer schedules say they are more productive than ever.
The research also found that employees often take fewer vacation days as a result of having longer weekends and more flexible schedules, which adds up to more productivity for employers.
At The Bagg Group, many top-talent candidates tell us that flexible schedules are truly appreciated and make an organization more attractive to them.
In turn, many of our clients, the best companies in the GTA, recognize that work-life balance matters, and that summer hours bring a ray of sunshine into the office.
Here are some of our clients’ tips for working even more effectively during the concentrated work weeks of summer:
Pare back meetings: Think twice about whether you need to hold a meeting and if you do, consider ways to keep it short and sweet. Ask yourself if you had to reduce your hour-long meeting to half-an-hour, what would you leave in, what would you leave out, and what would you relegate to an email.
As one client told a Bagg Group staffing solution expert: “Holding a meeting in the summer is like packing for a summer holiday – take out half of what you were going to pack in your suitcase, and double your money.”
Practice the 80/20 rule of time management. The tried and true rule of thumb is that 80% of what’s most important to accomplish in a day lies in 20% of our activities. The summer week is great incentive to train ourselves to focus on priorities.
As author Charles Richards said, “One man gets only a week’s value out of a year, while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week.”
For any interruptions, ask yourself whether this is a necessity or a diversion? No one dismisses the fun of hearing about a colleague’s holiday adventures, but this kind of interruption can bring more stress than pleasure during a concentrated summer week.
Consider holding off on non-critical interruptions until you want to take a break. In the words of business maverick Michael Altshuler, “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”
Think temporary placement: With employees on vacation and shortened weeks, the most productive companies hire temporary placements to help out rather than stretch employees too thin.
The Bagg Group staffing solution experts know from thousands of interviews with overworked talent that being very busy doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being very productive. In fact, research shows the least productive employees are those who are overwhelmed by work.
In placing almost 58,000 people to fill full-time positions, contract work, and part-time placements in the last 40 years, we can confirm that flexible summer hours can lift morale and result in better retention rates. That’s worth leaving early on Friday for a company picnic. After all, a boost to morale is always a boost to the company bottom line.