SURVEY SAYS: Summer Office Perks

We recently covered a survey which found fewer companies are offering summer perks such as flexible schedules, shorter hours on Fridays and a relaxed dress code.

Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “Does your company offer perks for the summer months, and which perk would you most value?”

Nearly four in ten (39.6%) of responding readers indicated their company offers no summer perks. More than one-third (35.4%) said their company holds a picnic or other social event. A relaxed dress code was selected by 18.7% of respondents, shorter hours on Fridays was chosen by 14.6%, and flexible work schedules was selected by 12.5%. Fewer readers said their companies offer more ability to work from home during the summer months (6.2%) and free drinks (water, sodas, fruit juices, etc.) (4.2%). “Extra paid day off attached to the 3 summer holidays” was an “other” response.

Asked which summer perk they would MOST value, more than half (57.4%) said shorter hours on Fridays; 17% said flexible work schedules, 10.6% chose more ability to work from home, and 2.1% each selected “a relaxed dress code” and “free drinks.”

“Other responses included, “Vacation time without working more before I leave and after I return!”, “More vacation time,” and “Rule 62”—which I looked up and means “don’t take yourself too seriously.”

In verbatim comments, some lucky readers said they get some of these perks year-round. A couple noted that short staff and workload may make perks harder for employees—especially in the benefits world, one said. One reader suggested bringing pets to work as a perk and another said picnics and social activities would be helpful in winter months when everyone is “stir crazy.” Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “I would institute a Happy Hour. No, not that kind, but one in which grumps n’ witches served less whine.” 

Thanks to all who participated in the survey!


I'm lucky if Mr. Scrooge allows me to light the furnace in the winter.

Not all employees are eligible for shorter hours on Fridays but those who are love it!

Summer is just another season - nothing special at work.

I've always thought that shortened Fridays was a no brainer, since most companies/workers take Fridays off in the summer and little is accomplished anyway. Easy way to make employees happy, without spending any money.

We have flexible work schedules, a work from home option and a relaxed dress code all year.

I would like to see office pets allowed. They really do help to relieve tension in the workplace.

Overall, our company promotes work/life balance, so flexible schedules are becoming more of the norm; not just during the summer. With that said, flexibility can be and is still dictated by each department with some areas being able to be more flexible than others. Within my team (HR/Benefits), we are able to maneuver schedules so as to enable quite a bit of flexibility during the summer months with trade-offs being a few late nights or weekend work via the honor system. Like anything else, the understanding is we all need to work to make it happen.

Many companies tout their offering of flexible work schedules yet in reality there's always reasons why flexibility can't be accommodated in management positions. Flexible work schedules are good for the troops and part of development is allowing lower level employees to embark on decision making when management is away!

I think that summer hours is a great idea if the workload allows for it. However, if your staffing is bare to the bones, I don't see how it is very beneficial to the employee since the work will pile up.

Fridays should have shortened work days in the summer. Employee productivity declines after lunch. Just saying.

It would be fabulous if we had shorter hours on Fridays, as we work long hours from January thru April.

I've never worked anywhere with summer perks.

Verbatim (cont.)

Years ago I worked for a company that had the summer hours on Friday; that I miss the most. Nothing like getting off work early on a beautiful summer day.

Summer perks? Sure, they let us keep collecting a paycheck, providing we keep coming to work.

I see why some think that people don't work as hard in the summer. But obviously they don't know the Benefits world...where that's not an option.

Our organization closes at Noon on Fridays during the summer. Staff may either make up the 4 hours during the week or can take PTO.

As an HR professional, I see the value in providing these types of low costs perks. They can have significant impact on employee morale. Since our organization is government funded, there is a reluctance to provide these types of employee perks.

Are these "summer perks" driven by the "everybody gets a medal" generation?

I would institute a Happy Hour. No, not that kind, but one in which grumps n' witches served less whine.

I would love a relaxed dress code or to be able to work from home (or the beach).

We are in Washington, D.C. As soon as it starts warming up we go business casual until the end of September. Between the heat and humidity I'm happy to shed my ties!

Why is it the company has to wait until summer to provide a picnic?? It would be nice to have something similar during the winter months as a pick me up when everyone is going stir-crazy inside.

We are perky year-round. I can wear jeans during a month if I make the donation for that month, I telecommute 3-4 days per week and I work flexible hours. And our offices close at 1:00 on Fridays before 3-day holiday weekends. Life is good!


NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not necessarily the stance of Asset International or its affiliates.