‘Summer Fridays’: More companies start the weekend earlier

WASHINGTON — Friday is the favorite day for office workers to take off during summer months, and more companies are lightening Friday workloads to keep their employees happy.

Arlington, Virginia-based research firm CEB, recently acquired by Gartner Inc., says 42 percent of organizations it surveyed will offer their employees “summer Fridays” this year. That is nearly double what it was two years ago.

“Either every Friday, or Fridays in advance of long weekends like Labor Day, you let employees just leave early. After lunch, one o’clock, two o’clock in the afternoon, or whatever it might be, as a way to give them a jumpstart on the weekends over the summer,” said Brian Kropp, HR practice leader at CEB.

Summer Fridays can take other forms too, like allowing staff to work from home, shifting hours, or simply just picking a few Fridays to close the office entirely.

Summer Fridays are an extension of the growing importance employees are placing on flexibility and work/life balance. Employers also recognize the importance of accommodating employees to remain competitive.

“Work/life balance, either not having enough or wanting more, is now a top 5 reason for why people quit their existing job or pick a new job to go to,” Kropp said.

CEB says “summer Fridays” are a low-cost way to improve employee engagement.

The findings are based on a poll conducted this spring of more than 220 human resource leaders.

Data from the survey, the CEB Global Talent Monitor, found that employee confidence in the business environment and their own economic outlook rose again in the first quarter of 2017 — the fourth quarter in a row that employee confidence has risen.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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