- Employees' most desired summer perks are flexible schedules (52%) and early departures on Fridays (27%), according to a survey from Accountemps, a Robert Half company. Only about 10% of workers said they'd prefer a more relaxed dress code or activities like picnics or potlucks. Accountemps surveyed 2,800 office workers and 2,800 senior managers at U.S. employers of 20 or more workers.
- About half of senior managers surveyed said they offer flexible schedules, more relaxed dress code and company picnics or potlucks as summer perks, while about one-third said workers are allowed to leave early on Fridays during the summer. Fourteen percent of respondents said they do not offer any of these perks.
- Organizations in Denver and Philadelphia most often offer flexible summer scheduling, according to survey results, and workers in Atlanta and Tampa, Florida, most wanted "Summer Fridays," as a summer perk. Employers in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Denver are most likely to allow early departures on Friday, while Cleveland, Detroit, and Sacramento, California, are least likely to offer this work perk, the results showed.
Employers may want to consider looking into what their own workforces want — and considering whether workers' wishes can be granted. "Offering workers increased flexibility in the summer can improve employee morale and make your company an attractive place to work. These perks come at little cost to companies but often go a long way in keeping staff happy and engaged," Michael Steinitz, senior executive director of Accountemps, said in a press release announcing the survey's findings.
Though Accountemps examined summer perks, some employees have begun viewing flexible work options as the norm year-round. According to a recent IWG survey, 80% of workers would choose a job with flexible work options over one without, and more than a third of the employees surveyed said flexibility is more important than a significant title. Employers considering either flexible work arrangements or reduced working hours as a recruiting and retention tool might try piloting these programs during the summer, or whenever work slows down most in their respective industries.
"We kind of acknowledged that productivity was going to slow down over the summer and that we would structure our work to accommodate the slow-down, not the other way around," Andrea LaRowe, head of people operations at Basecamp, previously told HR Dive about her organization's summertime four-day workweek. LaRowe said the constraints of the shorter workweek have pushed teams to be more efficient, and she recommended that other employers encourage their workforces to set expectations and goals prior to testing a shorter week.