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Wrapping up the work week on a beautiful summer day sometimes feels like a slog, and for good reason. The days are hotter, you aren't getting much done, and your weekend plans are getting closer by the minute. It might sound inefficient, but the increasingly popular early dismissal "Summer Fridays" work perk benefits not only you, but your employer as well. You'll get more time for yourself, your boss gets better work from you, and everyone gets to enjoy a beautiful afternoon.
Employers Keep Better Talent Longer
In 2017, over 40% of companies will offer a "Summer Fridays" program according to research firm Gartner. It's an easy way to keep employees happy, according to Gartner's Brian Kropp: "Giving employees the gift of time via Summer Fridays is one low-cost way to improve employee engagement, which in turn can increase employee productivity and drive business results."
For employers, Summer Fridays is a great way to give employees a perk without sacrificing much in terms of costs. It's Friday, after all. Who's really pushing for productivity then? As the weather heats up and the days grow pleasant, people aren't focused on what's in front of them, but rather what's outside those office windows. A Harvard University study showed that bank workers were less productive the more beautiful the weather. Bad weather, interestingly enough, increased productivity.
Employees Work Harder, Burn Out Less
You might think Summer Fridays are antithetical to boosting productivity, but the myth of working long hours to get things done is just that: a myth.
After 50 hours of work a week, productivity drops. A Stanford University study states workers putting in longer hours "may experience fatigue or stress that not only reduces his or her productivity but also increases the probability of errors, accidents, and sickness that impose costs on the employer."
The seasonal work perk is great, but it pays to be mindful of other factors before you dip out the door after lunch. If you're interacting with people from other companies who don't have the option of leaving early, be sure to keep them in the loop so you're not caught off-guard during your afternoon trip to the beach or your backyard. Summer Fridays only work when you get your work done, after all.
But employees with Summer Fridays perks are more likely to work at a more productive schedule for those four days before the end of the week since their workday has been shortened by a few hours. Shorter work hours mean more time for yourself, and more time for yourself means there is less of a chance of burnout.