Summer Friday Policies and How To Implement Them in Your Workplace

Updated June 24, 2022

Summer Friday policies are corporate plans for flexible work scheduling during the summer, a policy that many companies are adopting. These policies can take many form, and can help staff avoid burnout and overwork by enjoying warm weather and spending more time with their loved ones. If you work in human resources or management and would like to implement a summer Friday policy, you may need to learn more about it. In this article, we cover what summer Fridays are, how they can benefit you and how to implement them in your workplace.

Related: Quick Ways To Boost Morale in the Workplace

What are summer Fridays?

Summer Fridays are a flexible work schedule that some companies choose to implement during the summer months. The policy allows their staff to take Fridays off, typically spanning from memorial day to labor day. Depending on the company and the industry, how they may choose to implement a flexible summer work schedule may differ.

These policies are becoming more popular among companies in the U.S., but summer Fridays aren't a great fit for all business models. Industries like food service, shipping, entertainment and retail usually experience more business during the end of the week. This means giving every Friday off to the staff might ultimately lower the overall profit and success of the company rather than improve it.

Different summer Friday schedules

There are many summer Friday schedules you may choose from, including these:

  • Simple summer Fridays: In this policy, staff get every Friday during the summer as paid time off. Management doesn't expect them to come in on those Fridays, work extra to compensate or use accrued PTO.

  • Summer Friday half-days: This version offers half of each Friday off, letting staff out around the middle of the day rather than in the evening. Offering the half-day is a popular option for many offices because it allows you to ensure staff has time to complete important tasks while still offering time off.

  • Shifting summer Friday hours: For this policy, staff work longer Monday through Thursday so they can have Friday off. This typically means coming in early and leaving late Monday through Thursday.

  • Every other summer Friday: In this policy, you give every other Friday off to half the staff so someone is always working on Fridays, but everyone gets two Fridays a month off during the summer months.

Related: 21 Free Employee Benefits: A Guide for Managers

Benefits of offering summer Fridays to employees

More human resources representatives and managers in the US are advocating for summer Friday policies because of the extensive benefits they offer including these:

  • Make staff more productive: Research suggests that offering staff more time off can increase productivity. When they know they'll have a day off at the end of the week, staff members can be motivated to use their work time efficiently and minimize distractions.

  • Retain current staff: Offering a summer Friday policy boosts workplace loyalty and happiness. Your most talented assets are more likely to stay with your company if they're satisfied with the policies you have in place.

  • Attract the best talent: You're more likely to attract top talent when recruiting by offering a progressive summer Friday policy. Job-seekers want to join a workplace they think they'll thrive in, and offering flexible scheduling is becoming more and more popular.

  • Decrease requests for time off: When summer approaches, requests for days off increase so staff can spend time with their family, celebrate holidays and enjoy the pleasant weather. By implementing a summer Fridays policy, you're giving your staff the liberty to use their PTO for other situations and decreasing the scheduling work of approving or denying time off requests.

  • Improve mental and physical health: Offering flexible hours and paid time off (PTO) for employees helps to avoid burnout and overworking, both of which can be detrimental to both mental and physical health. Offering summer Fridays can help staff decompress and relax.

  • Save on operation costs: If your team works in a physical location, offering Fridays off may save you money on the electricity typically used to cool the office, run the computers and keep the lights on.

  • Build camaraderie among staff: For those companies that offer half-days on Fridays, the anticipation of the time off and all staff leaving together at the same time can lead to a sense of camaraderie among the staff and boost overall workplace morale.

Related: What Are the Benefits of Flexible Work Schedules?

How to implement summer Fridays in your workplace

If you're considering implementing a summer Fridays policy at your company, follow these steps for a smooth execution:

1. Send out a survey to staff to gauge interest

Before putting in the time and effort to create and implement a plan for summer Fridays, it's important to know that your staff wants them. Rather than assuming summer Fridays may make your staff happy, send out a survey or hold a meeting to ask them how they feel. In some workplaces, people may prefer to maintain their regular schedule during the summer months, especially if the summer Fridays policy you plan to implement requires extra work from Monday to Thursday.

2. Make a summer Fridays policy document available to all staff

When implementing a new policy in the workplace, it's a good idea to create a document clearly outlining the policy. Make this document readily available to everyone, so if questions arise, they can refer to the policy document. Creating a coherent plan for the new system allows for a smoother transition.

3. Hold a meeting to go over the summer Fridays policy

Rather than sending the policy to everyone and expecting them to read through it, hold a meeting to discuss the new summer Fridays policy and build staff accountability for understanding the policy. A meeting also lets you answer questions staff may have about the new system.

4. Have a system for work accountability

It's likely that some people in your workplace may struggle to adapt to the new summer Fridays policy. Put a system in place to monitor your staff and ensure everyone is thriving, especially within the first few weeks of the new schedule. A summer Fridays policy should give your staff the opportunity to recharge and enjoy their summer, not stress them into overworking Monday through Thursday if they can't complete their work on time. Give your staff the support they need to successfully make the transition.

5. Consider summer Friday alternatives

If a full-day summer Fridays policy doesn't work for your business, you might look into alternatives. Offering half-days or every other Friday off can still help your staff to avoid burnout. You may also consider offering flexible hours other than just Fridays, if your staff prefers Mondays or Wednesdays off instead. Working remotely on Fridays might be a popular option, as it removes the commute but still allows staff to get their work done.

Related: Flex Time: Definition and Examples

Summer Fridays policy sample

If you're thinking about creating a summer Fridays policy for your workplace, you can use this sample as inspiration to write your own:

Example: Summer Fridays Policy

Here at Hex Corp, we value our employees' health and happiness, and because of that we offer the Summer Fridays Policy to all eligible employees. The summer Friday season begins this year on Memorial Day weekend, May 28th, 2021, and ends on September 6th, 2021, following Labor Day weekend.

We hope that by offering this flexible scheduling we may better support you in your health, happiness and work-life balance. Hex Corp operations slow by 20% or more during the summer months, so employees should be able to fulfill work duties from Monday to Thursday. The building and all accompanying facilities will be closed on Fridays during the summer Friday season. This means all doors will be locked at the end of the day on Thursday and will not be open again until Monday morning.

We will support you in remote-working on Fridays if you feel you need the extra day to satisfactorily complete your tasks for the week. If you have any concerns about completing your work during this time frame, reach out to your manager.

The summer Fridays policy is an employee privilege, and if the management team feels at any time that it is abused or is hindering performance, we reserve the right to revoke the policy and reinstate regular work hours. This policy covers summer Fridays only and does not affect your accrued paid time off (PTO). If you have any questions or concerns about this policy, reach out to your manager.

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