How to Implement Summer Fridays

In general, Summer Fridays are a flexible scheduling approach that can take the form of letting people leave early on Fridays or even giving them the whole day off to compete with perks at larger companies.


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How to Implement Summer Fridays

Summer is finally here and for leading-edge companies, so are Summer Fridays! After a few years of heavy COVID restrictions, it seems like everyone is itching to return to normal. This means weddings, weddings, weddings, and plenty of summer travel.

From events to vacations, there are all kinds of demands on our fleeting summer time.

Some employers choose to meet their employees’ increased personal scheduling demands by offering Summer Fridays. On the other hand, Summer Fridays can be an excellent segue into moving toward a 4-day work week.

If you’ve wanted to try a 4-day work week for a while but aren’t sure how to get there, summer offers a unique opportunity.

What exactly are ‘Summer Fridays?’

In general, Summer Fridays are a flexible scheduling approach that allows employees to take extra time off on Fridays. This can take the form of letting people leave early on Fridays or even giving them the whole day off.

This can certainly mean that the office is closed on Fridays if that’s the route you want to take. Otherwise, you can stagger the Fridays that people have off, so there still is coverage during business hours.

Offering perks like Summer Fridays can go a long way in attracting top talent.

No matter how you decide to implement it, Summer Fridays are generally observed between Memorial Day and Labor Day each year.

Gauge your staff’s interest before diving in

The first thing you should do is make sure that your employees are interested in Summer Fridays.

Since all businesses are different, doing Summer Fridays at your business could mean more work during the rest of the week. Naturally, some people might not be interested in that.

Maybe, for some reason, your staff would rather have Monday off if that’s going to help maximize their vacations. Or, you might find out that your workers are interested in entirely different benefits altogether. The key is to find out where their interest lies and using an employee survey can be a great way to do so.

Create a draft policy and open it up for feedback

As a general rule, the more buy-in you have from staff, the better. Once you’ve determined that your team is interested in Summer Fridays, it’s time to draft a policy that outlines how those Fridays will work.

Your Summer Friday policy should address:

  • How Summer Fridays will work. Will this mean half days on Fridays? Or will people have the whole day off? Will they have every Friday off between Memorial Day and Labor Day, or are there some exceptions?
  • Whether or not remote working will be allowed. If the office is closed, but your employees still feel like they need the day to catch up, can they work from home?
  • The limits to the policy. If this is a temporary policy that will hinge on performance once it’s implemented, be sure to spell that out in your policy. You’ll also want to include information on what will happen if employees abuse the privilege.
  • How staggered Summer Fridays will work. If you’re choosing to implement staggered Summer Fridays (meaning that not everyone has the whole Friday off at the same time), be sure to outline how scheduling will be handled.

Next, give your team members the chance to provide feedback within a specified period of time. You can:

  • Gather their input online
  • Have managers collect it
  • Hold a company-wide meeting to discuss it

The key is doing whatever works best and makes the most sense for your unique business and its needs.

After you’ve finalized the draft of your policy, make sure that everyone has access to it and knows how to find it before it’s implemented.

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Don’t be discouraged by bumps in the road

Any change is bound to bring bumps in the road. Even if you do as much preparation as possible, things will always look different when they transition from theory to reality. Give your employees time to settle into and get the hang of the new policy.

In a similar vein, don’t let a few rotten apples spoil the bunch. If you have a few employees who abuse the privilege, handle it individually like you would any other infraction or performance issue.

Finally, encourage management to participate as well. Employees will second guess taking advantage of their new perk if leadership doesn’t embrace and participate in it, too.

Summer Friday perks can land you top talent

Change is scary, especially when it comes to something significant, like closing your business on Fridays during the summer. But there’s value in venturing into the unknown, especially regarding employee perks. If you’re struggling to compete with larger companies, offering perks like Summer Fridays can go a long way in attracting top talent.

Plus, if you’re hoping to move to a 4-day work week at some point, this is a great way to dip your toe into the water. Think of it as a temporary test drive and an opportunity to gather data and feedback for potentially bigger moves in the future.

The key to implementing Summer Fridays at your business is keeping in mind your business’s unique needs and strengths and those of the employees who compose it.


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