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Summer Fridays can be a boom or bust

Date posted:  9/25/15 08:15:00 AM Allowing workers to leave early on Fridays during the summer has been great for some businesses.

According to national workplace expert Lynn Taylor, every employee could use a break - especially in the summer.

Taylor told Forbes that it's important for employees and their managers to figure out common times when workers can go on vacation or take a day or two‡ away from the office to unwind from the pressures of work. She said that some bosses prefer that employees are away when they're on vacation, while others bosses would rather have employees around to cover for them if they decide to take a vacation of their own.

Taylor said open lines of communication can make or break a solid summer vacation plan, so it's important to institute a few basic rules when it comes to requesting time off.

Al Coleman, author of "Secrets to Success: The Definitive Career Development Guide for New and First Generation Professionals," agrees with that logic.

"Also take time to schedule other summer events and activities that are important to you so that you can plan your work around them," Coleman told Forbes.

He said if an employee is planning to skip out on an afternoon of work one day, he or she should stay late or arrive early the day before to make up for the lost hours.

What employers think about Summer Fridays
Denise Blasevick, CEO of The S3 Agency, a public relations and advertising firm, told Fast Company that her business recently installed a Summer Friday policy that allows employees to leave‡ work by 3 p.m. at the end of each work week.

Blasevick said she's noticed that her employees work a bit harder to finish their work that day, adding that the extra time can make a huge difference in the work-life balance of many employees.

"Getting out a few hours early to kick off the weekend has made everyone smile, including me," she said.

Leaving early allows commuting employees to avoid rush hour, while workers with families can spend time with their kids or significant other.

Happiness and productivity
Polly Blitz, founder of multimedia brand Beauty Blitz, told Fast Company that happy employees lead to a higher level of productivity.

"I believe that happy employees who respect the ethos of your company are generally more productive and are proud to put effort into their work day," she said.

Because of this frame of thought, Blitz has taken Summer Fridays to a whole new level. She encourages her workforce to work from home the first half of the day and then take the rest of the day off.

"The work from home part is an added perk, because why not let everyone sit on their couch in pajamas or workout clothes, instead of commuting from Brooklyn and New Jersey for a couple of hours," Blitz said.

Summer Fridays aren't for everyone
But not every company will benefit from half days at the end of the week during the summer.

Matthew Reischer, CEO of Legal Marketing Pages Corp., told Fast Company that he opted to not offer Summer Fridays this year after putting the plan into action last summer. He said he originally got the idea because his staff was less productive on most Fridays, but he soon regretted the decision.

"By the end of last summer it became immediately clear that productivity was grinding to a halt on Friday," he said. "Half the staff would show up just to show their face but weren't interested in working, while the other half simply called in sick."

That's why a plan for extra time off shouldn't be taken lightly and often depends on the place of business. While it will work swimmingly for some companies, other businesses will sink.