Often, when the warmer months roll around, employees find it difficult to enjoy the summer sunshine alongside their work commitments.

An incentive that can benefit both your staff and your business is setting summer working hours.

How do they work?

Employees typically agree to work an extra hour on Monday to Thursday, so that they can leave the office early on Friday afternoon.

Notably, Kellogg’s operates a summer hours scheme, which has now been running successfully for fifteen years.

The scheme allows all office-based employees to finish work from midday on a Friday, given that they have done a full week’s hours.

Sue Platt, Kellogg’s UK HR director, said:

“Research shows people who feel they have a good work life balance work 21 per cent harder than those who don’t; Summer Hours is part of a package we offer to ensure we provide work life balance opportunities to all employees.”

What are the benefits?

Allowing employees more freedom with their work schedule prompts an improved work-life balance, which enhances wellbeing.

As well as this, burnout can be prevented, and productivity can be improved. Employees tend to feel more motivated to complete their workload in the time they are given.

Most importantly, incentives such as summer hours show your employees that you trust them to handle their workload.

What are the disadvantages?

Occasionally, shorter hours can result in more stress for staff who are trying to get their workload down with less time on their hands.

Going from having five days to carry out their work to just four could result in them feeling more under pressure than normal.

Not only that, but some employees may find their productivity slipping if they are only working on a Friday morning, counting down the hours until the day is done.

What to do next

If you do decide to go ahead with summer hours, the policy must be shared efficiently amongst employees so that everyone understands what is expected of them.

Be mindful of deadlines, stress levels and the flexibility of your company, as summer hours may naturally not be suitable for everyone.