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Here’s Why Your Employer Should Give You Friday Off (at Least in the Summer)

Topics: Work Culture

Today’s workers know that there is more to compensation than just bottom-line salary, and there are some new company perks out there that extend beyond casual Fridays and Foosball tables in the break-room. However, there’s one incentive in particular that might mean more to you than the ability to wear jeans or access free snack food – time off, with pay, on a regular basis. For instance, think about about what you could do with a couple of paid Fridays off every summer.

fridays off
Image Credit: Danielle MacInnes/Unsplash

Here’s why your employer should get on board:

1.Fancy perks don’t make up for what workers really want from their compensation packages anyway.

Perks do have an impact on a company’s culture, and they can help to establish a certain kind of vibe around the office that some organizations think young workers want. But, they don’t seem to help retain workers. When it really comes down to it, workers are looking for bigger ticket items that have a real impact on their lives – like great health insurance and retirement accounts. And, they want other less tangible things from their employers as well, like respect from their boss, less stress, and to be treated fairly.

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“Give employees the benefits they value, and they’ll be more satisfied, miss fewer workdays, be less likely to quit, and have higher commitment to meeting the company’s goals,” Joe Lineberry, a senior vice president at Aon Consulting, told Entrepreneur. “The research shows that when employees feel their benefits needs are satisfied, they’re more productive.”

  1. Today’s worker doesn’t want or need free food or a ping-pong table as much as they do better work-life balance.

Younger workers value work-life balance in a different way than Baby Boomers ever have. Perhaps it’s because Gen Xers and Millennials are far more likely to have a full-time working spouse than the generation that came before them. This arrangement, and the fact that these generations of workers want work-life balance (or rather, better work-life integration) is serving as a call to action for managers who want to attract and retain top talent.

“The narrative that’s always drawn is you have to choose financial success or personal success [and] having a life. And to me, that’s a false choice,” Ryan Shaw, a 23-year-old worker, told The Washington Post. “I think you can have both. I’m sort of playing the long game. I want to take care of my health and have deep relationships with people I care most about. And not just people who happen to be in the same building with me everyday.”

  1. Enter onto the scene … regular paid Fridays off.

Employers want to keep their workers happy and productive, so some companies are trying new tactics and policies on for size to see if they might address some of these desires without compromising the organization’s bottom line. The World Wildlife Foundation gives their employees every other Friday off, with pay, as reported by Entrepreneur in a recent article on this topic, and other companies offer Summer Fridays – a half day during vacation months or even every other Friday off. The impact of these programs can be significant in terms of employee engagement, productivity, and overall happiness. It also communicates an important message to workers – that they are trusted, have autonomy in their roles, and that their health and wellness is valued and respected.

“As a company, we put huge emphasis on wellness, so we encourage everyone to be healthy and balanced all year long… These aren’t perks as much as a way of working and living,” Ragini Parmar, the VP of Talent at Credit Karma told Fast Company. “Summer Fridays are just one example of the fact that we aren’t clock-watchers; do your work and do it well. I think when you build a culture of trust, respect, and balance from the start and work hard to maintain it, you build a high-performing team with great morale and excellent employee retention.”

Tell Us What You Think

How do you think having paid Fridays off might change the way you feel about your job? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


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Andrew McLeish
Andrew McLeish

It is difficult to generalise as to which perks work best, as roles and companies vary so much. But for me the two key things are those that demonstrate flexibility and trust. I worked at one company where the offices were not air conditioned and the office had wall to ceiling windows East, South and West, so in the summer it could get very uncomfortable. The company implemented ‘summer hours’ so instead of 9-5.30, you could choose 7-3.30 (if you… Read more »

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