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July 2017 Payroll Channel

What's the hottest summer perk? Workers surveyed by staffing firm OfficeTeam said they're most interested in flexible schedules (39 percent) and the ability to leave early on Fridays (30 percent).


Flex Time and Short Fridays Top List of Summer Perks

By Isaac M. O’Bannon, Managing Editor

What’s the hottest summer perk? Workers surveyed by staffing firm OfficeTeam said they’re most interested in flexible schedules (39 percent) and the ability to leave early on Fridays (30 percent).

But companies have cooled off on providing these benefits. Sixty-two percent of human resources (HR) managers reported their organization offers flexible schedules at this time of year, down from 75 percent in a 2012 survey. About three in 10 employers (29 percent) relax their dress codes in the summer months, compared to 57 percent five years ago. Companies with shorter hours on Fridays also fell to 20 percent, a 43-point decline from 2012.

HR managers were asked, “Which, if any, of the following summer benefits are offered at your company?” Their responses*:




Flexible schedules



More relaxed dress code



Leaving early on Fridays



Activities such as a company picnic or potluck



*Multiple responses permitted. Top responses shown.

Additional findings:

  • More than one-third of HR managers (34 percent) feel workers are less productive during the summer months. Another 34 percent said there’s no change in on-the-job performance.   
  • Not planning well for vacations (32 percent) and unexpected absences (22 percent) were identified as the most common negative employee behaviors at this time of year, ahead of dressing too casually (19 percent), sneaking in late or leaving early (15 percent), and being mentally checked out (12 percent).

“It’s natural for employees to get distracted when the weather’s nice and thoughts turn to plans outside the office. But savvy companies maintain staff productivity and morale by embracing summer in the workplace,” said Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam. “Letting employees modify their schedules, leave early on Fridays or dress more casually when it’s hot out are easy ways to keep them loyal and engaged.”

Here are five tips to help staff make the most of summer at work:

  1. Perk up. Give employees more control over how they spend their time by offering flexible schedules and occasionally letting them leave early on Fridays. Just make sure policies are clear so business can continue as usual.
  2. Rally for rest. Remind workers to take time off, and set an example by doing so yourself. Bring in temporary professionals to fill in during absences.
  3. Venture out. Holding meetings outdoors or while taking a walk is a great way to get fresh air while accomplishing business objectives.  
  4. Have some fun. Plan an ice cream break, picnic or group outing. Employees will appreciate being able to relax and bond with colleagues in a non-work setting.  
  5. Dress down. Allow staff who aren’t customer- or client-facing to wear more casual attire, as long as it doesn’t detract from work. You might even consider instituting themed Fridays where Hawaiian shirts or sports apparel are encouraged.




This Month’s Top Payroll Social Media Posts:

These Trendy Office Practices May Be Killing Productivity. Dave Crenshaw via LinkedIn:

More States Lock Down Joint-Employer Relationship. From the Bloomberg BNA blog:

Why Can’t You Retain Top Talent? Doug Dickerson via LinkedIn:

New Hire Paperwork: Requirements & Recommendations. From the ADP Connect blog:

What the NBA Draft Can Teach Us About Team Building. Scott Gilly via LinkedIn:


Latest Payroll News:

Half of Small Businesses Don’t Offer Retirement Plans. New research from the Pew Charitable Trusts shows that small- to medium-sized businesses are least likely to offer retirement-savings plans.

How Women Leaders Can Change the Workplace. As women have taken on greater leadership roles in the business world, it’s paid off for both them and business.

Goodbye Casual Friday: Almost Every Day Is Becoming Casual. Workplace attire today is trending casual, even for historically more buttoned-up accounting and finance pros.|

More American Workers Taking Vacation Days. American workers took an average of 16.8 days of vacation in 2016, according to new research from Project: Time Off.

Work-Life Balance Improving. Nine in 10 respondents reported their manager is very or somewhat supportive of their efforts to achieve this balance, and 74 percent said their boss sets a good or even excellent example.


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