What You Should Consider When Offering Summer Work Schedules

Robin Schwartz

Robin Schwartz

Professional Human Resources (PHR) Certified

Summer time comes with nice weather and longer days. It also comes with childcare issues, vacations and family activities. Companies might offer flexible summer work schedules to help accommodate their workers during the summer. This shows them they are trusted and valued.

What Do Summer Schedules Look Like?

There are many options companies may consider offering their employees.

Compressed Work Weeks

With a compressed work schedule, employees may work four 10-hour days with one day a week off. Another option is five 9-hour days with every other Friday off. Compressing the work week allows employees to spend less time in the office. This does not mean they will spend less time working.

Adding an extra one or two hours onto their workday is worth an extra day off to many employees -especially if the time off does not use up valuable vacation.

Telecommuting

Companies that don’t normally offer remote work opportunities might do so over the summer. Traffic often becomes a bigger issue over summer months. There is an increased number of people traveling to and from vacations during the summer.

Some are trying to leave the office a little earlier to spend some quality time with friends and family. Employees will welcome the opportunity to telecommute.

Flex Schedule

When working a flexible schedule, employers allow employees to come and go from the office at whatever time is most convenient for them as they work their required hours. This is helpful for parents of children who have summer activities or are in daycare.

Companies will often still have “core” hours where all employees need to be in office. This is to avoid any disruptions in the workflow.

Summer Fridays

Depending on the business environment or industry, companies may consider offering employees “Summer Fridays”. This means employees can leave the office early on Friday afternoons without making up the extra time.

This is not ideal for organizations with non-exempt employees.

Why?

Because they are to be paid for hours worked only.

Why Offer Flexible Summer Schedules?

Allowing a more flexible summer schedule benefits the employee’s work-life balance. Trusting employees to flex their schedules increases employee morale and retention. Many organizations can even expect to see an increase in productivity since the employee is able to work a schedule that is best for them.

Giving the option of flexible schedules over the summer months will help prevent employees from being late or absent from work. With employees being able to work around their life (not live around their work), companies can expect employees to have fewer work-life conflicts that might cause them to call out of work.

As flexible schedules are put in place, company expenses may drop during summer months. With less employees in the office, organizations may see a decrease in cooling or electricity costs.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Offering Flexible Summer Schedules?

Employees working their own hours or working remotely can cause problems. If a company’s work requires interacting with clients, employees will need to work a schedule that best fits the needs of the clients, not the employee. Not having enough staff available for customers and clients may reflect poorly on the organization.

Some companies may decide that flexible schedules are not available to certain positions. This might be the front desk receptionist or the human resources professional. Not offering all employees the same flexibility reflects negatively on employee morale and team building. Employees who have to stick to their regular schedule may feel resentment towards their co-workers.

Employees who value a team atmosphere may struggle to adjust. When the schedule of a co-worker isn’t guaranteed, it will make having meetings or reaching out to discuss projects difficult. Employees may find the absence of co-workers makes their job more difficult. They may begin to voice their issues and concerns to management.

Companies need to realize that there will always be employees who take advantage of flexible work schedules. Most employees will be appreciative and productive while working from home. Some will use that time to do laundry and catch up on Netflix shows.

How Should A Company Avoid Issues?

For every disadvantage that comes with offering flexible schedules, there are at least as many advantages for the employee and organization.

Managers should review the flexible schedule requests of their staff at the same time, rather than one by one. This allows supervisors to see if any gaps in staffing will occur. If there are problems, managers will be able to address them right away.

When employees work remotely, managers should request a summary of work at the end of the day. A work plan at the beginning can also be considered.

Asking for an outline of work will decrease the chance of employees taking advantage of the benefit. Companies want to avoid an employee engaging in non-work related activities.

If a company offers flexible schedules, they should make sure they can offer the option to all employees. By not offering the benefit to certain job types, an organization is causing unfairness with employees.

Offering flexible summer schedules is usually a popular benefit among employees. Management should consider the pros and cons that come with flexible schedules before deciding if it helps both the employees and the organization.

About The Author

Robin Schwartz
LinkedIn

Robin Schwartz

Robin Schwartz is a PHR certified HR professional with a broad range of expertise including recruitment, performance management, employee relations and talent management. She leverages her years of experience in HR to bring functional change to organizational leadership and direction to management structures and employees.

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