Summer hours means different things to different companies. For some, it means letting alternating team members have Fridays off (or every other Friday, or Friday half-days). For others, it may mean abbreviated workdays with shorter hours, or flexible hours. It sounds lovely, right? But then the fears begin to creep in.

What will this do to productivity?

Will customers still get the assistance they need?

What if I can’t contact someone in a work-emergency?

How will this affect my bottom line?!

We’re going to outline the facts and share the most recent and reliable studies so you can decide whether Summer Hours are right for you.

Fact: Fifteen percent more organizations are offering summer hours in the US each year – a total of 46% of businesses who are making summer hours work. (Gartner)

How do summer hours affect productivity?

Even though they’re spending less time physically at work, Opinion Research Corporation showed that 66% of employees who have summer hours felt more productive, not less, as a result. Interestingly, another survey found that 45% of workers feel more distracted during the summer, but they didn’t have summer hours! Conclusion: Summer hours help employees focus.

According to Adecco, shortened summer workweeks “increase employee morale and all the good things that go with that, such as higher retention, candidate attraction, and productivity.”

And, when a New Zealand company test-drove a 4-day work week, they found that workers were happier, less stressed and more productive.

Anecdotal evidence from employers who implement summer hours report that employees “have been more productive than ever.”

Will customers still get the assistance they need?

You don’t have to let everyone off at the same time to reap the benefits of summer hours. You can rotate within teams to make sure every position is staffed, and organize your summer hours around when *your* business is less busy. You can make summer hours work for you and your clients.

What if I can’t contact someone in a work emergency?

This is another concern that can be addressed by requesting that your must-have team members remain available via cell phone. After all, even on-call Emergency Room doctors are allowed to leave the ER sometimes! It can be done.

How will this affect my bottom line?

This tends to be the core fear – losing money. So let’s look at the broader picture of what summer hours have to offer, and how they will most likely affect profit.

Improved retention = lower training/onboarding costs

The extra leisure and family time improves work-life balance for employees, increasing loyalty and productivity. Better work-life balance also makes employees likely to feel grateful for the flexibility and freedom, and more loyal. (Forbes)

Improved talent acquisition

A recent survey of 1,500 workers and 600 human resources managers by HR consulting firm Robert Half found that 66% of workers wanted to work less than five days a week – but, only 17% of workplaces offer that option. The demand for flexible work schedules is rising, and the companies able to offer that have an edge in acquiring top talent.

Reduced employee health costs

There’s a growing list of evidence that long hours aren’t healthy, for body or mind. And, more studies show that employee quality of life and engagement at work increase, and stress decreases, with shorter workweeks.

Are you convinced? Or not quite yet?

We would love to know what your hesitations are – or what your experiences are – with summer hours. Send a quick email to support@engagementmultiplier.com with your thoughts, and they may wind up in a follow-up post!