You’ve probably heard about Summer Fridays and wonder if you could join in on the trend, even if your employer doesn’t have a policy.
The answer is Yes, and with the official start of summer looming just weeks away as I write this, now is the time to pitch temporary part-time hours of 32 hours a week, with every Friday off.
For most people, a year-round reduced workweek isn’t practical or affordable. You, too? But…
…if you can swing it, wouldn’t you enjoy a string of long weekends throughout the summer months? That would mean:
- more time with your kids or grandkids while they’re off from school
- more time for your gardening or boating while the weather is nice
- more time for regional road trips and weekend getaways
Or whatever is on your leisure list during the warm weather months.
With Fridays off during the summer only, you reap the perks of a reduced schedule without committing to a reduced salary for the long term.
Flexible Summer Hours as a Work Perk
Summer Fridays have been labeled the new ‘it’ perk among employers and it’s gaining in popularity.
In one report, almost half of the companies surveyed allowed employees to take off early on Friday afternoons during the summer.
That’s just one version of several summer schedules offered by some employers.
Included in the mix: Fridays off, usually by manipulating work hours to keep them at or close to 40 hours a week. Ummm…not what I had in mind.
More progressive companies work only four days a week during the summer. That’s 32 hours. No pay cut. Now, that’s better.
Tactical Tips for Proposing Your Own Summer Fridays Plan
What if your employer has no such offering? Then you’ll need to take the initiative to propose your own Summer Fridays schedule.
When presenting your proposal for part-time hours, keep these tips in mind.
- Labeling: Pitch it to your manager as a “seasonal schedule shift” or a “temporary reduced workweek.”
- Planning: Redesign your work duties and schedule to show your manager how the job will get done in fewer hours. (Is business slower in the summer anyway? That’s helpful to your case.)
- Timing: Present your proposal in May so there are a few weeks for the negotiation and approval process.
- Employer savings: Managers are looking for pain-free ways to trim the budget. Emphasize the cost savings that come from your temporarily-reduced salary.
- Persuading: If you meet resistance to reducing your hours, point out the closed-end, short-term aspect of the proposal.
- Negotiating: Your positioning is that you are remaining a full-time employee—with full-time benefits—during this temporary or seasonal schedule shift. Get written agreement on this point.
Make Your Part-Time Summer Schedule Affordable
Typically, the Fridays off arrangement would have your salary pro-rated to 80% (32 hours out of 40) for the duration. If the financial squeeze looks too tight for you, take a modified approach. For example:
- Propose Fridays off for only two months instead of three.
- Take every other Friday off. That has you working 72 out of 80 hours, a 10% reduction in pay.
Need more ideas? Here are 5 Affordable Ways to Have Fridays Off.
More Tactics for Summer Fridays Success
Set an ambitious part-time arrangement goal to match what you want. Prepare your pitch thoroughly. Then ask for it. But be prepared to have a fall-back position; leaving early every Friday afternoon might be the most your manager will agree to this summer.
Another tactic is to propose a Summer Fridays arrangement as a work team or department. Management might be more receptive if you devise a group approach, for example, half the team alternates Fridays (or Friday afternoons) off with the other half.
This video report from CBS Sunday Morning features several employers already on board with the trend. Use it to help bolster your case for a company-wide initiative.
Three-day Weekends, All Summer Long
If this is the creative flexible work solution you need for a summer of long weekends, plan and prepare your request now.