When the mercury rises, so too does the desire for employees to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Staff gaze longingly out the window when there’s not a cloud in the sky and the thermometer is pushing 30C. Even if it’s not sunny, summer Fridays are a special day. We all seem to gear down in those summer months probably because of the memory of our school days.
To assist in fighting this natural distraction, many organizations offer summer perks. Employees clearly want flexibility in their schedules, especially during the summer months. In fact, flexible schedules and leaving work early on Fridays are the most coveted summer perks.
For many workers, coming in early and leaving early (or staying late to bank hours) is feasible, but for some it isn’t. It’s surprising flex time hasn’t caught on to a greater degree than that. After all, flex time costs nothing and the benefits are huge. Some companies, of course, just give their employees extra time off in these months without having to make the time up.
Giving employees the freedom to shift their start time makes for happy, productive employees. They still get their work done, yet can make it home in time to take their kids to soccer, get a jump on the weekend or more time to run errands.
Organizations and managers in particular, have to abandon the notion that workers have to sit at their chairs for a specific time and under the thumb of supervision in order to be productive. As more companies adopt flexible philosophies – a trend that is only going to gain steam – more organizations will have to jump on the bandwagon.
But merely jumping on the bandwagon isn’t enough. All managers and supervisors need to be trained on the benefits of flex time. Too many organizations that have embraced flex time on a corporate level still face pockets of resistance from managers who don’t buy into the philosophy.
This may not apply to some, as in factory workers. Machines need to run and the product needs to be made. For single shift companies they could run for an extra hour a day for each of the 4 days and have a 4 hour shift on the final day or eliminate the final day all together by adding 2 hours a day for the other four. Multi-shift companies are in a bind. What brings happiness for some doesn’t bring happiness for all as some want the jump in the weekend but others with weekday activities might not get to them if their workday is extended by 1 or 2 hours. There needs to be a vote perhaps and even then it won’t bring happiness to all. All should remember this is for the two summer months and not the whole year.
Office staff are so much easier to accommodate. There may just be the odd Reception position, which may be the most difficult but automated switchboard has become more popular, thus alleviating the need.
All companies should review their policies and see what they can do. It will bring so many benefits. More than you know!!
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