Employee Benefits

5 Hot Summer Perks to Brighten Up Your Employee Benefits

Summer Fridays

Employees want more flexibility from their employers in the summer months.  Giving your team a bit more time to enjoy their summer can help boost their mood and boost their productivity when they are at work. Often summer is a slower time of year in business, so reward your employees for their effort by allowing them to leave early on certain days. Offering “Summer Fridays” shows you are committed to your employees and care about their work-life balance.   

How to Make it Work:

Offering Summer Fridays may seem like it would lower productivity, but has been proven to do the opposite. Communicate your policy and set expectations with your employees clearly and with your customers.

You can choose to modify your Friday hours for the summer months. Allow your employees to leave 2-3 hours early every Friday to get an extra start to their weekend. Make your clients aware in advance and give them a communication option in case of emergent situations.

Not ready to close your entire office early? Allow certain groups to take Summer Fridays every other week to avoid fully closing your office.

Summer Fridays don’t have a positive effect if your employees don’t use them. Make sure your company leaders are leaving early and are ambassadors for this perk. When employees see their leadership members staying late, it makes them feel they should be, too. Working longer doesn’t mean working better.

Professional Development

The summer is a good time to invest in employee development by scheduling workshops, off-site training sessions, etc. When business is slow, keep employees interested by offering them options to improve their skills, learn about new techniques, experience other departments, and network.

How to Make it Work:

Prepare your summer professional development activities in advance so all employees have the opportunity to attend. Keep in mind that many employees are taking time off during the summer.

You can choose to host company-wide training or offer a stipend (based on approval) so employees can choose training and events that truly interest them and can help them learn more about their field. You could choose to base your stipend off seniority or department, since high-level or specialized training/classes may be a bigger expense, but offer more value to your company.

Casual Dress Code

Need your employees to stay in the office? Make sure they can stay comfortable in your office during the summer. Allow a more relaxed dress code for a few months, as much as you can for your industry.

How to Make it Work:

Have a business/formal dress code? If your company isn’t on the business casual bandwagon, your employees are probably in front of clients on a regular basis and you want to showcase a highly professional image. Allow employees to take a step back to business casual or wear jeans if they aren’t seeing a client.

If you aren’t ready to make the switch to casual dress all year long, try it for the summer months, or just for one month.

Keep in mind any disparity between genders, the guys in your office may feel they get less heat-friendly options if they can’t wear shorts, but the ladies can wear dresses and skirts. You can allow knee-length shorts for all employees, just make sure to show pictures of what kind of shorts are allowed.

Extended Summer Holidays

Summer holidays are the best time for employees to hang out with family, travel, and get outside to enjoy the weather. Most employees end up taking more time off in the summer, especially if they have school-age children.

Consider adding a couple days to your single day summer holidays. For example, offering the day after July 4th, Memorial Day, and Labor Day. Often, many of your staff would already be trying to take PTO, leaving your office short-staffed. Give your employees a boost without having to worry about office coverage by closing the office.

How to Make it Work:

Offer the day after July 4th, Memorial Day, and Labor Day or a combination of these based on your business needs. Often, many of your staff would already be trying to take PTO around these days, leaving your office short-staffed. Give your employees a boost without having to worry about office coverage by closing the office.

Not ready to commit to closing the office? Use a similar method to split Summer Fridays. Offer all employees one extra day during summer months as a personalized “Extend Your Holiday” perk. You can still allow a set maximum number of people to be off on a certain day if you need a strict level of coverage.

Read More: How to Give Employees More Choice with PTO

Get Outdoors

Being stuck in a fluorescent-lit office cubicle is no fun when the sun is shining outside. When you can, encourage employees to soak up some natural Vitamin D outside. A mood-boost is always a plus for productivity!

How to Make it Work:

If you don’t have a walking club, summer is the time to start. Encourage employees to enjoy all the benefits of getting out from behind their desks for a break and take a few laps around the parking lot. If you can, gift your team fitness trackers so you can enjoy some friendly competition.

Read More: Employee Engagement with Wearables | Step Challenge Timeline & Checklist

Does your office have some green space outside? Use outdoor space to your advantage, hold short meetings outside or turn lunch hour into a picnic.

Want to make a bigger impression? Host a barbeque in your parking lot or offsite at a local park. If you can, invite your employees’ families so you can connect and have fun together. Give out branded t-shirts, water bottles, cooling fans, backpacks, etc. so everyone can go home with fun company swag.

Want even more creative benefits and perks? Check out our 101 Creative Employee Benefits List and our Resource Center.

Looking for in-depth Benefits and HR consulting? Contact Austin Benefits today for a no-hassle consultation.

Cathy Siska COO

Cathy Siska
Chief Operating Officer

2018-07-16T10:54:38-04:00 Employee Benefits|