You might love what you do. (And I really hope you do!) You might feel inspired and challenged and motivated by your work. But no matter how much you love it, you probably wouldn’t say no to leaving early on a sunny summer Friday, or taking the whole day off.

If you haven’t noticed, the concept of Summer Fridays has officially gone mainstream. (Employers that offer this seasonal perk let their employees go home early or skip work altogether on Fridays.) Research company Gartner, Inc. has surveyed HR leaders over the last several years and found a dramatic increase in the number of companies offering Summer Fridays.

The survey found that for 2019, 55% of companies operating in North America will offer their employees this perk. That’s a 9% increase from 2018, and a 43% increase from 2012. The survey was small, including only 94 HR leaders, so its findings might not reflect what you see in your workplace and community. (Professionals working in certain industries don’t have this option at all, I know – more on that in a minute!)

Still, I think that this movement reflects shifting attitudes toward summer productivity. More and more, employers, entrepreneurs, and solo-preneurs are recognizing that it really is possible to take more time off during “vacation season” without it affecting performance.

Darn… I Don’t Get a Summer Schedule.

Sadly, Summer Fridays aren’t for everyone. People who work in health care, service jobs and jobs that require coverage can’t leave early just because the weather is warm. Some employees may have to take a financial hit that they can’t afford in order to participate in Summer Fridays or other schedule shifts.

Maybe your employer would allow it, but Fridays are your busiest days and it’s just not possible to leave early. There still might be a way to shift your schedule so that you get the seasonal flexibility that is a win-win for you AND your work.

Envy doesn’t have to be the only thing you take away here. The popularity of this perk means that an increasing number of employers now recognize that giving employees more time off prevents burnout, especially during summer. It’s gratifying to see some employers and entrepreneurs take real strides in supporting their employees’ needs and their own needs for work/life balance.

Could that knowledge help you advocate for more flexible scheduling in your workplace? If nothing else, I hope you’ll take this lesson away from the success that some companies are having with Summer Fridays:

It’s absolutely possible to take time off from work during the summer without everything falling apart in your absence, if you know how to approach time management.

Yes! I Get Summer Fridays (or your own version of a summer schedule)! So you’re in a position to take part or all of Fridays off during the summer or shift your schedule to take advantage of the season. Awesome! Are you ready to make this work?

If your employer doesn’t require you to make up the lost time during the rest of the week (which some employers do), you might be expected to get 40 hours of work done during a 36-hour week. If you are required to make up the lost time with longer days earlier in the week, you’re going to need to shift your schedule around on those days, which might affect your personal obligations.

Either way, partaking in a Summer Schedule usually means making some scheduling adjustments.

Obviously, how you use your time – AKA your “time management and productivity system” – is a huge piece of making this doable. If you’re disorganized and can’t seem to get on top of your tasks, spending less time at work might just add to your stress. As we move into summer, survey how you are using your time and ask yourself:

Will I be able to get it all done in the reduced work time so I’m not even more stressed on Monday morning than usual?

If not, then ask yourself:

  • Where can I save time during usual tasks so that I can get more done in less time?
  • What are my time wasters and time robbers? How can I avoid them?

If you’re already dreaming about your perfect Summer Schedule but you’re not sure your of your ability to get things done with your current time management system, check out my Jump Start Your Productivity Program here.

Or, join me for my Free Masterclass, called Time Mastery Blueprint: 3 Keys to Staying on Track and Living the Life the Life You Crave, here!



Sarah Reiff-Hekking