How to Sell Year-Round 'Summer Fridays' to Your Boss

How to Achieve Work/Life Balance

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," author Lindsay Tigar writes in an article for Fast Company. "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. With the right strategy, however, 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 ... 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."

Of course, the best data is experience. Your best strategy, therefore, could be proposing an experiment that 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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Contact Successful Meetings Editor in Chief Vincent Alonzo with your "How To" ideas.