Should Employers 'Lighten Up' During Summer?

June 19, 2009 ( - Employees would appreciate a lighter schedule during summer months, a new survey suggests.

Flexible schedules (38%) and leaving work early on Fridays (32%) are the most coveted summer benefits, according to workers polled by OfficeTeam. Other benefits employees would appreciate include social activities such as a picnic or potluck party (6%) and a more relaxed dress code (5%).

“Employees appreciate flexibility in their jobs because it gives them greater control and enables them to handle other commitments without sacrificing their work performance,” said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam, in a press release.

For employers thinking of implementing a flexible schedule, Hosking suggests that employers stagger workers’ schedules to maximize the total number of hours employees are available to assist customers, and pilot a program before rolling it out permanently to evaluate the impact on workflow and productivity.

Even if companies are not able to implement flexible schedules, allowing employees to occasionally leave early on Fridays can have a positive effect on morale, Hosking added.

The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with 457 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in an office environment.