You may have noticed that summer at the office (or at the remote office) is a little bit quieter than in the seasons before. With the kids out of school, the sun out, and vacation season upon us, productivity can take a hit as well. When it comes to family caregivers, their limited vacation and sick days are already likely going towards either caring for their loved one or maintaining their mental health.
According to recent studies, a simple benefit that is rising in popularity across organizations is Summer Fridays. Companies with Summer Fridays and other caregiving benefits for employees have a competitive advantage with their competition, especially when it comes to the employees that rely on a more flexible work schedule.
What is a Summer Friday?
Summer Fridays are an organizational benefit where employees are given a half-day off each week or full day off every other week from June to August. For companies that are hesitant to lose too much employee time during the summer, the extra hours off can be made up during the rest of the week (Monday-Thursday).
How Summer Fridays Help Working Family Caregivers
Caregivers can struggle more than the average full-time worker with work-life balance as they dedicate much of their free time to the care of a loved one. Giving a few hours back to these employees each Friday allows them to recharge, spend quality time with their loved ones, and engage in self-care activities, resulting in increased job satisfaction and reduced burnout.
Flexible Work Hours
A flexible schedule is a must for caregivers and parents working around their loved ones’ schedules and appointments. Summer Fridays get the weekend started earlier for a longer stretch of uninterrupted family or caregiving time.
Caregiving is a significant commitment that requires time, attention, and emotional energy. The extra day off or reduced work hours allow them to schedule appointments, run errands, or provide necessary care without compromising their work commitments. This flexibility reduces stress and anxiety, enabling caregiver employees to better focus on their job responsibilities during the rest of the week.
Ability to Work
A caregiver with a full-time job works a double shift. As responsibilities for a job role and a caregiving position compound, employees will oftentimes leave their full-time jobs in order to take care of their loved one.
Summer Friday benefits demonstrate an employer's commitment to creating a strong company culture that is focused on the team’s needs even outside the office. By implementing this perk, companies not only attract skilled working caregivers but also increase their loyalty and engagement.
When employees feel supported and valued, their job satisfaction and morale naturally improve. Summer Friday benefits provide caregiver employees with a tangible acknowledgment of the challenges they face in balancing their professional and caregiving responsibilities.
The extra time off or reduced work hours during Summer Fridays allows caregivers to create more meaningful memories with their loved ones and engage in activities that promote personal well-being. As a result, they return to work feeling refreshed and motivated, leading to increased productivity and a positive work atmosphere.
How to Make Summer Fridays Work
If you are offering every other full Friday off to employees in return for longer hours during the work week, ensure that team members switch off which Fridays they are taking. This allows some staff to be in the office every Friday to take care of whatever is needed.
Ensure managers add everyone’s Summer Fridays to a team’s vacation and holiday calendar so that they can keep track of who is off and when.
For half-day Fridays, make sure that all necessary work and meetings take place in the morning before employees sign off in the afternoon.
Make sure to announce the Summer Fridays policy across all channels, including internal company communication, all-company meetings, and across shared messaging channels. Have managers communicate it to their teams and announce the last Summer Friday before it occurs to remind employees when to readjust their schedules.
Enact Policy Fairly
Summer Fridays are meant for every employee to enjoy, regardless of their team, manager, or work conditions. Hybrid and remote workers should be included in the policy as well as those in the office. While managers should be able to help balance Friday schedules if need be, they should not discriminate against or single out any employee by barring them from enjoying the new policy.
As organizations continue to recognize the work of caregivers, implementing Summer Fridays and other caregiving benefits emerges as a progressive and effective strategy to encourage productivity and employee satisfaction even for the busiest individual.
Find out more ways to support your caregiving employees by learning about the benefits that can help.
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