The great Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Live in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink in the wild air.”

Summer usually brings to mind images of sun-drenched beaches, lazy afternoons by the pool, and barbecues and laughter. Nevertheless, many of us still have to work. Often, that means a shift in work schedule, aka “summer hours.”

As a result of these longer daylight hours, work hours are typically adjusted, typically involving later start times and earlier finishes, with the goal of boosting employee morale. Both fervent supporters and vocal critics continue to debate summer hours.

To help you decide how you feel about this seasonal shift, this post explores the potential benefits and drawbacks of summer hours.

Pros of Summer Hours

With the more relaxed atmosphere, many organizations adapted summer hours to give employees more time to recharge, connect with family, and truly find a balance between work and home. But let’s take a closer look at some advantages of summer hour.

Happier employees

In addition to good weather, more free time can boost summer morale. What’s more, 85 percent of workers in a 2022 poll said having a perk like “Summer Fridays” made them happier at their jobs.

A higher level of productivity

Employees are more motivated and happy when their schedules are flexible based on the weather. What you may not know, however, is that happy people are also 12 percent more productive. That’s good for both your employees and your business.

As a result of the increased focus, employees are able to accomplish more. Remote work on Fridays or days off is often seen as a negative productivity influence. According to Opinion Research Corporation, the opposite is true. The study found that 66 percent of employees were more productive during summer hours.

A better work-life balance

Employees have more time to pursue personal interests, hobbies, or spend time with family during the summer months due to extra daylight and flexible schedules. When work-life balance is improved, employee satisfaction increases and burnout is potentially reduced, especially in roles that require a lot of mental effort.

Increased employee health

Increased Vitamin D levels can be caused by additional sunlight exposure. In case you didn’t know, it is essential for bone health, mood regulation, and immunity. Also, vitamin D may play an important role in sleep regulation, as evidenced by growing research. It is well known that vitamin D deficiency (VDD) increases the risk of sleep disorders in children and adults, as well as causing sleep difficulties, shorter sleep duration, and nocturnal awakenings.

Additionally, extended daylight encourages physical activity and mental well-being through outdoor activities.

The reduction of stress and fatigue

For many workers, commuting during peak traffic hours is a significant source of stress. With summer hours, especially earlier finishes, employees can avoid rush hour traffic, resulting in less stress and fatigue and improving performance.

In addition, employees can relax and recharge during the summer by having more time to unwind.

Retaining and attracting employees

Summer hours could be seen as a desirable perk, attracting top talent and increasing employee retention. Those who prioritize an active lifestyle or are working parents may find the flexibility offered a significant advantage in today’s competitive job market.

Furthermore, offering summer hours demonstrates that you value your employees’ well-being and trust them to manage their time efficiently. As a result, loyalty and retention can increase.

There is potential for cost savings

Because of shortened or more flexible work hours during the summer, companies may use less artificial lighting, air conditioning, and office supplies.

Moreover, reducing traffic congestion during rush hour could reduce the wear and tear on company vehicles.

Cons of Summer Hours

Several possible drawbacks to summer hours are well-known to employers and other observers, which may explain why more organizations haven’t adopted them.

Workflow and communication disruptions

In team-oriented environments, where seamless communication is essential, summer hours can disrupt established workflows. Meetings and project collaborations may need to be rescheduled, causing delays and inefficiencies.

A reduction in customer service

During summer schedules, businesses that rely on customer service during specific hours may have a shorter window for client interaction. As a result, customers may be frustrated if their needs are not met during the revised business hours.

Businesses with seasonal demands will be affected

Tourism and landscaping, for example, experience higher demand during the summer months. The summer hours might not align with customer traffic patterns, potentially hindering sales and affecting customer satisfaction.

Inequity within the industry

It may not be appropriate for all industries to work during the summer. For companies that heavily depend on customer interaction, an earlier staff departure might not be applicable.

There is the potential for overwork

Although it’s intended to provide a better work-life balance, there’s always the risk that employees will try to fit as much work as possible into the slightly shorter workday. It can result in rushed tasks, increased stress levels, and ultimately defeat the purpose of summer hours.

Scheduling inconsistencies between teams

In the absence of uniform summer hours, scheduling conflicts and communication breakdowns can result. The inconsistency can lead to employee frustration and resentment.

Sleep disruptions

It is possible for employees who naturally wake up later to get less sleep when they work earlier. Ultimately, this can negatively impact their health, well-being, and productivity.

Parental challenges

Working parents with schedules that don’t follow the traditional 9-to-5 may find it difficult to find childcare, particularly if they have young children. Additionally, there might be conflict between after-school programs and summer camps, causing stress and logistical problems.

The impact on client relationships

It might be necessary to adjust client schedules for some professions that require face-to-face meetings with clients during the summer months. The disruption of existing relationships and workflows could be significant.

Finding the Sweet Spot: What Works Best?

When it comes to summer hours, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. There are many factors that influence effectiveness, such as the type of industry, employee preferences, and customer expectations.

To implement a successful strategy, consider the following:

  • Ask for feedback. Getting as much information as you can from all levels of management and employees is the first step. In their opinion, what would be the best approach? When it comes to implementing summer hours, what are their concerns?
  • Don’t be rigid. Provide options for employees who prefer to maintain their current schedules. Alternately, if employees require flexibility, allow them to do so.
  • Focus on outcomes. Achieving results is more important than simply adhering to specific working hours for employees.
  • Communication is key. In order to maintain transparency, the revised schedule needs to be clearly communicated.
  • Incorporating technology. Maintain seamless collaboration by using communication tools and project management platforms.
  • Pilot program. To determine its impact on productivity and customer service, consider a trial run for summer hours.
  • Clearly define your policy. Your policy should be clear so you don’t face future problems. Keeping your policy simple and uncomplicated will help eliminate confusion and ambiguity. Your workers should know how to access the policy. In addition, summer hours should be outlined when they end and begin. It is also important for your summer hours policy to explain how summer hours will work at your company.

Beyond the Schedule: Tips for Employees

To make the transition to summer hours easier at your workplace, here are some tips:

  • Adjust gradually. As you approach the change, gradually shift your sleep schedule.
  • The early bird gets the worm. To start the day focused, use the extra morning time for a healthy breakfast, exercise, or quiet time.
  • Plan ahead. Plan your childcare and commute logistics well in advance to minimize last-minute stress.
  • Be clear about your needs. Whenever you encounter challenges with your new schedule, let your employer know right away.
  • Maximize efficiency. To enjoy the extra free time in the afternoon maximize your productivity during work hours.


In the end, summer hours can be a double-edged sword. Employers and employees can both benefit from them, but careful consideration and adaptation are necessary. With open communication, flexibility, and a focus on individual needs, everyone can make the most of the extra sunshine without sacrificing productivity or well-being.


What are summer hours?

In the summer months, many companies offer flexible work schedules to their employees. It is possible to arrange shorter work schedules so that employees can spend more time with family and friends or enjoy the warm weather.

What are some common types of summer hours?

There are several ways to schedule summer work, including:

  • Shorter work days. Weekdays are typically shorter, with employees leaving early.
  • Compressed workweek. In a compressed workweek, employees work their full-time hours over less than five days. Four-day workweeks, where employees work 10 hours per day instead of eight hours per day, are one of the most common examples.
  • Summer Fridays. Employees can leave early or even take the whole day off on Fridays throughout the summer.
  • Remote work flexibility. During the summer months, companies with remote work options may offer employees more flexibility, allowing them to work from anywhere.

Who benefits from summer hours?

  • Employees. You will enjoy a better work-life balance and more personal time.
  • Employers. It is possible to see an increase in productivity and morale among employees.
  • Families. Parents should be able to spend more time with their children during summer break.

Are summer hours right for my company?

Every company has a different approach to summer hours, which may not work for your company.

So, keep in mind your company culture, employee needs, and client requests. In order to determine if summer hours are right for your company, you would need to survey employees and evaluate potential challenges.

Considering summer hours? Here are some additional things to keep in mind:

  • Find a schedule that works. Consider options such as compressed workweeks, early dismissals, or core working hours.
  • Get employee input. Identify your team’s preferences and see if summer hours would benefit them.
  • Ensure clear communication. When implementing summer hours, make sure expectations and deadlines are clear.
  • Maintain client service. Make sure there is enough coverage during core business hours if your business relies on clients.

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