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There’s No One-Size-Fits-All When It Comes to Summer Work Hours

Updated: Aug 8, 2023

Here’s How You Can Choose the Right Model for Your Business

Studies reveal that productivity generally goes down by 20% during the summer months with projects taking longer to complete as employees are less focused and would rather be enjoying the weather. To combat this, many companies have begun implementing a Summer Hours program, which can be offered in different ways.

Sklar Wilton & Associates has offered a Summer Hours program since 2015, to combat burnout and enable a better work-life balance. For us this means that from Victoria Day weekend to Labour Day weekend, employees can add extra hours of work time Monday to Thursday and in exchange, can log off at 1pm on Fridays. This is a completely optional agreement that allows employees to get a head start on their weekend, if it works with their schedule and makes their lives easier. Aside from the obvious reasons that most people enjoy spending time outside during the summer months, there are some real business benefits to consider:

  • Builds Loyalty: A recent survey by FlexJobs suggests that 80% of employees would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options.

  • Increased Motivation: People who feel they have good work-life balance work 21% harder than those who don’t, according to a survey from the Corporate Executive Board.

  • Improved Productivity and Satisfaction: The Society for Human Resource Management reports that 60% of organizations that utilize a four-day workweek experienced higher productivity and increased employee satisfaction.

If you are planning to offer a Summer Hours model, it’s important to choose one that works for your company’s specific needs and operating style. Each model comes with a unique set of pros and cons that could either help or hinder your company during the summer months. Consider the three models listed below: Improve Motivation with a Flextime Model This is the model that SW&A offers, allowing employees to work extra hours during Monday to Thursday in order to take that time off on Fridays. We like this option because it provides employees with the most flexibility and ownership of their time. The difficulty with this model is that it requires more coordination by the employer to ensure the office still has adequate coverage. Kellogg’s saw ‘massive improvements to motivation’ during the work week after implementing a similar model.

Boost Productivity with a Compressed Workweek This model requires employees to work their full schedule in four days in exchange for having the fifth day off. This means that every employee has the same clock-in and clock-out times, working extra long Monday to Thursday but then receives Friday entirely off. The challenge with this model is that each employee’s unique set of personal obligations cannot be accommodated with a one-size-fits-all schedule adjustment. Still, Microsoft Japan said that productivity jumped 40% after testing a compressed workweek model.

Increase Engagement with Summer Fridays This model is perhaps the simplest in that it gives employees every Friday off during the summer without having them work extra hours the rest of the week. Some companies will have variations such as every other Friday, every Friday before a long statutory holiday, or offering half-days each Friday. The difficulty with this model is that it is the most expensive for the company to endure. However, Perpetual Guardian found team engagement increased by 20% on average during the four-day weeks with no reported fall in the total amount of work done to cause a decrease in revenue. Summer Hours are a proven strategy to remain productive throughout the summer months and we could not recommend it enough. Once you have familiarized yourself with the summer hours models that are available, discuss internally and gather input for what would suit your operations most effectively. The best answer for you may be one of these or your own hybrid variation. Cheers to a healthy, happy, and productive summer for you and your teams.

To learn more about how we’re helping businesses beat burnout and build mentally healthier workplaces, visit our Headway page or email us at


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