Warm summer days are approaching fast, and a popular time of year when businesses consider offering flexible schedules. Whether it’s compressing a 40-hour workweek into four days instead of five, starting and ending the workday at times other than the traditional 9 to 5, or allowing employees to work from home, a flexible schedule can provide a low-cost, high-reward employee perk.
Creating “summer hours” is a wonderful way to promote work-life balance and improve morale. We recommend that you carefully plan a summer hours policy before putting it in place to ensure that the program is a win-win for both employees and the needs of the business.
Here are some tips to make a summer schedule work for your organization:
Survey your team. Ask employees what they would think about a flexible schedule. Your team may decide that coming in early or staying late Monday through Thursday in exchange for an early Friday is just the ticket, or they might like to telecommute on Fridays to avoid the beach weekend commute.
Plan and strategize. Adequate staff needs to be available to maintain overall productivity and customer satisfaction. Identify which jobs can be done on a flexible schedule without disrupting the business.
Determine the scope of the program. A flexible schedule can take various forms such as leaving early, working from home on Fridays, or working a condensed workweek. Your policy can also offer a combination of these options to meet the demands of different departments and ensure everyone can take advantage of the benefit without interfering with business.
Establish clear policies. Outline who is eligible, what options are available, when summer hours are in effect (such as June 1 – September 1), and how employees can obtain approval. Explain the purpose of the policy, so everyone understands the objectives and parameters. Additionally, establish protocols and procedures to help manage staff during the summer months. Consistent and fair treatment of all employees is key in making this a successful program.
Evaluate the program to ensure that the protocols and procedures are being followed, and the policy is having the desired effect.
Employee benefits programs don’t have to break the bank. Offering simple rewards, such as a flexible summer schedule, can yield many positive results. If a flexible summer schedule can work for your organization, this can be a terrific way to make employees feel appreciated and allow everyone the opportunity to take advantage of those all-too-short summer months.
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This content is provided with the understanding that HR Knowledge is not rendering legal advice. While every effort is made to provide current information, the law changes regularly and laws may vary depending on the state or municipality. The material is made available for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice or your professional judgment. You should review applicable laws in your jurisdiction and consult experienced counsel for legal advice. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please contact HR Knowledge at 508.339.1300 or email us.