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Summer’s here, and so are early weekends

Summer Fridays, weeklong shutdowns, and four-day work weeks are the norm for some employers.
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Gordita Chronicles/Max

3 min read

Quick-to-read HR news & insights

From recruiting and retention to company culture and the latest in HR tech, HR Brew delivers up-to-date industry news and tips to help HR pros stay nimble in today’s fast-changing business environment.

Abercrombie & Fitch and Kieran Culkin aren’t the only things in style for summer. The season unofficially kicked off Memorial Day weekend, and the fly workplaces are offering hot summer-specific perks to help workers relax during the hot months.

Summer perks. Among the most common summer benefits are summer Fridays, which are offered at a range of companies including IBM, Pfizer, and Viacom.

Jennifer Bett Communications, a media relations agency based in New York City, switches to four-day workweeks June–August, according to its PR representative, Daria Martorana.

Other companies, including EY, MUD\WTR, and KPMG, have a weeklong shutdown at some point during the summer. Employees at KPMG also have what they call “jumpstarts” from Memorial Day to Labor Day, where they may sign off early.

What employees want. Kathy Cullen-Cote, chief human resources officer at Teradata, a data analytics firm, told HR Brew that employees are coming to expect some summer-specific benefits. Her company closes at noon every Friday from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

She also told HR Brew that it’s important for employers to enact policies that prioritize worker well-being. Given that many workers have children who are out of school or engaged in summer activities, workers should be afforded opportunities to spend extra time with their families. “Something like summer Fridays says, ‘You’re important to us, your well-being is important to us,” Cullen-Cote said. “If we can’t survive by giving people four hours off on a Friday afternoon for three months, then we are doing something very, very wrong.”

Vicki Salemi, a career expert at Monster, suggests that if HR leaders aren’t sure what employees want, they should just ask and tailor benefits based on their feedback, “So many companies can just have informal conversations as well with their workers, and maybe department heads can leave it up to the managers and say, ‘Ask your people what are they looking for? What would be most beneficial to them?’”

Cheap perks. Salemi also said that summer perks are an inexpensive way to offer employees more of a valuable resource: time. “Given the fact that many companies just aren’t able to give significant pay increases this year, this is something that they can definitely do,” she explained. “What perks they can offer to employees that can hopefully improve productivity and morale?”

Additionally, she recommended companies consider other cost-effective summer benefits, such as a bring-your-dog-to-work day, or spa and pool membership discounts.

It’s summertime. Let your employees shake and wiggle, and hang at the beach.

Quick-to-read HR news & insights

From recruiting and retention to company culture and the latest in HR tech, HR Brew delivers up-to-date industry news and tips to help HR pros stay nimble in today’s fast-changing business environment.