Summer Perks Can Help Workers Stay Engaged

Workers surveyed by staffing firm OfficeTeam said they’re most interested in flexible schedules (39%) and the ability to leave early on Fridays (30%) as summer office perks.

However, fewer companies provide these perks. Sixty-two percent of human resources (HR) managers reported their organization offers flexible schedules at this time of year, down from 75% in a 2012 survey. About three in 10 employers (29%) relax their dress codes in the summer months, compared to 57% five years ago. Companies with shorter hours on Fridays also fell to 20%, a 43-point decline from 2012. And, activities such as a company picnic or potluck are offered by 17% of companies, versus 28% five years ago.

More than one-third of HR managers (34%) feel workers are less productive during the summer months. Another 34% said there’s no change in on-the-job performance.  

Not planning well for vacations (32%) and unexpected absences (22%) were identified as the most common negative employee behaviors at this time of year, ahead of dressing too casually (19%), sneaking in late or leaving early (15%), and being mentally checked out (12%).

But, OfficeTeam suggests that companies can maintain staff productivity and morale by embracing summer in the workplace. “Letting employees modify their schedules, leave early on Fridays or dress more casually when it’s hot out are easy ways to keep them loyal and engaged,” says Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam.