by Matt Alderton | September 20, 2018
To many people, summer is the best time of year. The weather is warm. There are endless outdoor activities to enjoy. And best of all: Work is breezier at many companies thanks to "summer" Fridays.
"As summer comes to both an unofficial and official close, so do summer Fridays for those offices that allowed them," reports Fast Company contributor Lindsay Tigar. "Though not a standard across all industries, many feature this perk between Memorial Day and Labor Day, giving employees bonus 'vacation' days or the opportunity to meet deadlines and dial-in to meetings remotely."

If it can make a positive impact on your sense of work/life balance during the summer, many employees wonder, why not institute it all year long?

Some experts argue the merits of exactly that, according to Tigar. "Apart from the obvious reasons professionals look forward to this time of year, some experts rave about a shorter week year-round, saying that it not only fosters productivity but can bolster a positive work ethic," she says.

But will your boss go for it? Probably not at first. But with the right strategy, you might be able to make your case. Start, Tigar advises, by making a data-based argument.

"Much like illustrating your merit for a salary bump or standing up for a title change when you've dutifully earned it, providing research and options for your employer makes it much more likely they'll drink your Fridays-off Kool-Aid," she says. "First and foremost, any studies around productivity that highlight short stints of focus are a smart place to begin. [Consider, for instance] the example of recent research, which found employees only remain on task three out of eight hours per day, making the argument for a four-day week or abbreviated hours on Friday a no-brainer. Moving from a 40-hour Monday-Friday schedule to a 32-hour Monday-Thursday routine might feel off-balanced at first, but if you can demonstrate the reduced week would extend attention spans and deliver more quality work, you might have a case."

Of course, the best data is experience. Your best strategy, therefore, could be proposing an experiment, which would allow your superiors to witness firsthand the likely benefits, including increased employee recruitment, retention and satisfaction.

"It's unlikely your boss will instantly agree to let all employees sign off on Thursday year-round," Tigar says. "But as the saying goes, place the pudding in front of him or her, and serve a scoop to all."

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