The Advantages of Offering Employees Summer Hours
The unemployment rate is currently at or near historic lows. This means that there are fewer people looking for jobs. This does not mean, however, that there are fewer job...
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The unemployment rate is currently at or near historic lows. This means that there are fewer people looking for jobs. This does not mean, however, that there are fewer job openings. In other words, it’s a job seeker’s paradise – at least in most industries.
A few years ago, the job market’s pickings were much slimmer than they are now. Most people would take the first job offer they received because it was likely to be the only offer they would get. There was no room to ask for better pay or better benefits.
Now that the labor market is tight, however, qualified professionals can shop around for the best fit. This has forced companies to offer potential and current employees enticing benefits to ensure that they not only get the best new hires but also that their current employees don’t look elsewhere.
While these enticing benefits do include the usual stuff like pay raises, better than average 401(k) matching and dental insurance, the unemployment rate is so low and the competition for talent is so high that companies are starting to go above and beyond the usual offerings.
I’m talking coffee bars, gym membership reimbursements, birthday PTO, and, perhaps best of all, paid ‘pawternity leave.’ Like I said before, it’s a job seeker’s (and a dog parent’s) paradise!
Here’s the thing: all of those benefits, and many of the hundreds of other creative ways that employers are getting their employees to stick around, are expensive.
Fear not, though. There is one benefit that is growing popular and, according to many studies, is basically free. What’s this magic benefit, you ask? (hint: check out the title of this blog post).
That’s right. Summer hours.
There are no hard and fast rules about how to implement summer hours so it looks different at nearly every company. Essentially, though, summer hours are when a company closes shop early, usually between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Some of the ways that employers implement summer hours are as follows:
This is by far the most common version of summer hours. Everyone goes home at noon (some companies do 3 p.m.) on Fridays.
Let’s say you happen to have a really big client this summer that requires more hands on deck, but you still want to offer the summer hours perk. Some companies get around this by giving rotating groups of employees Friday half-days. Even though it’s less time, you’re still contributing to improving your employees’ work-life balance and that’s what matters.
If you don’t have the resources to shorten the workday you can look into letting your employees work from home. Technically, your employees are still spending the same amount of time doing work, but now they can do it from home, perhaps in the company of their dog.
I know what you’re thinking: “won’t summer hours lower our productivity?”
While that line of thinking makes sense, the answer is no. According to a study by the Opinion Research Corporation, 66 percent of people feel more productive at work as a result of summer hours.
This means that, on average, employees get more done in a shorter amount of time because they don’t feel as burned out. So, technically, your business is not losing money even though you are working less.
It’s amazing what a few extra hours can do.
About Weslie Oeftering: Weslie is a student at The University of Texas at Austin and Swyft’s resident PR and marketing intern. She supports clients with social media, blogging, and tech PR activities. Swyft is widely considered one of the best PR firms in Austin specializing in B2B tech startups and enterprises. With satellite offices in Denver, Houston and Antwerp, Swyft provides PR support around the world through its proprietary global PR firm network First PR Alliance. Some of their other services include content and inbound marketing, CPC campaigns and demand gen, marketing automation consulting, and email marketing.