If you notice that “summer stare” on employees’ faces as they gaze longingly out their office windows, it may be time for a morale-boosting seasonal schedule change. Here are some ideas working for the readers of the HR Specialist Forum:
Start early, end early
“We change our work hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with one hour for lunch to 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a half-hour for lunch. It is amazing what a difference that one hour makes.” — Denise
3 rotating work groups
“We put staff on a rotating schedule. They are put into three groups. Group 1 takes a half-hour lunch Monday to Thursday and then gets to leave two hours early that Friday. Group 2 does that for the next week. Group 3 does it for the week after that. It rotates so it is fair to all. If an employee needs to get off early on a specific Friday, he or she can trade with someone in another group. They manage it pretty well, once the groups/schedule are created.” — Monica
1 extra hour, half-day Fridays
“Our normal schedule is 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a one-hour lunch. In summer, we go to 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a half-hour for lunch on Mondays to Thursdays, then from 8 a.m. to noon on Fridays. This is optional if department needs are met. Currently, our ‘summer’ hours are April through September. We have no formal policy on this.” — Barbara
9-hour day, alternating Fridays off
“We offer optional summer hours. Employees still work 80 hours in a two-week period. But the first week, they work four nine-hour days and one eight-hour day (44 hours). The next week, they work four nine-hour days and are off on Friday (36 hours). That’s 80 hours over the two-week period. Works great and those who do it really like it.” — Barb
(Editor’s note: This could have overtime implications if are working more than 40 hours in a single workweek.)
Four 10-hour days, Fridays off
“We offer administrative employees the opportunity to work modified schedules of four 10’s or staggered starting and stopping times. The only caveat is that key personnel must maintain customer-friendly operational hours.” — Carolyn
“Our company does half-day Fridays between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Our hours are typically 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (with an hour lunch) during the rest of the year. But during the summer we work an extra half-hour each day, making our days 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday, still with an hour lunch, and then on Friday we work until 1 p.m. Employees can take advantage if their workload allows it. Working that extra half-hour doesn’t make up for leaving early at 1 p.m., but our employees are salaried and it’s just one of the perks at our office that everyone appreciates.” — Rachel
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