Significantly more North American employers are offering “Summer Fridays” to their employees this year, the latest data from Gartner’s Global Talent Monitor shows. A poll conducted in the second quarter of 2018 of more than 144 HR leaders in North America found that 46 percent of organizations were giving employees the option of leaving early, working remotely, or taking the day off on Fridays this summer—a jump of more than 30 percentage points from 2012.
Though some companies worry that summer schedules can have a negative impact on productivity, but as Gartner’s own Brian Kropp notes, “most companies have told us that with this benefit in place, they’ve found employees work harder earlier in the week because they know they have to complete their work before Friday,”
Summer Fridays won’t work for every organization, of course, or for every workforce, but Kropp outlines an alternative option too:
If this is the case for your organization, you need to create a corresponding benefit, like a summer bonus, for your employees. The idea is that even if a summer schedule isn’t operationally possible for them, at least employees feel they are getting some type of summer reward as well, which will help keep them engaged.
This trend comes in the context of a tight labor market, with low unemployment rates and limited supplies of qualified candidates encouraging employers to step up their efforts to attract and retain talent. Our Global Talent Monitor data shows that employee confidence in business conditions and long-term economic prospects hit a five-year global high in the first quarter of 2018. In Q4 of last year, employees in the US reported high intent to stay with their organizations, with fewer of them actively looking for new jobs. Nonetheless, US employees’ perceptions of job opportunities were above the global average, suggesting confidence that good jobs are available if they do go out looking for them.
Summer Fridays are one example of the increased flexibility US employees are seeking from their employers: For example, seasonal workers this summer have used the bargaining power afforded to them by a tight labor market to negotiate for more flexible schedules and more control over when they work.
Learn more about Global Talent Monitor and how your organization can benefit from its insights.