School’s out for Summer and Summer Work Schedules are here! 

Summer goes by fast here in the Midwest, so when the sun is out, it can be hard to get your employees to focus on work. To give their employees a bit of a break after the long winter, some businesses offer a variety of summer perks to their employees.  Because summer tends to be quieter for many businesses, it may be the perfect time of year to offer a modified work schedule or other benefits to keep up employee morale and greater productivity year-round.  

Here are a few examples of polices to consider and how to implement them: 

Summer Work Policies: Summer Fridays 

Summer Fridays are a flexible work schedule that some companies choose to implement during the summer months. The policy generally applies to Fridays between Memorial Day to Labor Day. There are many summer Friday schedules you may choose from, ranging from Fridays off all summer long to half days or early close. 

Summer Work Policies: Summer Flex Hours  

A Summer flex hours policy is similar to Summer Fridays except that the employees are able to choose when they want to alter their schedule.  Some employees may prefer to start work later on Mondays or to leave early on Wednesday.  A Summer Flex Hours policy allows employees to adjust their schedule (within parameters and with approval) to meet their summer needs.  

Summer Work Policies: Summer Dress Code 

Some businesses create a separate policy for summer attire. Navigating summer dress code policies can be challenging. You want to help your staff stay cool in the summer while maintaining a professional appearance and environment.  If you have employees that work remotely, consider what is the in-office dress code versus the virtual dress code.  Also, keep in mind that that people no longer identify with only 2 binary sexes or genders, so be careful in wording this policy.  

Summer Work Policies: Summer Happy Hour or Events 

Rather than send their employees home early, some businesses close up shop and host happy hours, picnics or other events for their employees.  These events are intended to give employees a break while still engaging with their team or interacting with employees they may not get to engage with often.  

Summer work Polices: Floating Summer Holiday 

This policy gives employees the ability to select one or two additional days during the summer months for a paid holiday off work. If your business is slow during the summer but busy during the other seasons, this is a good way to give your employees that floating holiday without the concern it will be used during your busier times.  

How to implement a summer hours program for your business 

 If you’re considering implementing a summer hours policy for your business, here are some ways to consider rolling the program out:   

  1. Send out a survey to staff to get an idea of interest/priorities. 

You could put a lot of time and effort into creating and implementing a plan for summer only to find out your employees don’t see the plan as a benefit.  Before you create a plan, reach out to your employees to see what might interest them and what they would see as a perk. 

  1. Evaluate client scheduling needs. 

After you get input from your team, consider the customer side of your business. If there’s a particular day that tends to be full of client meetings, that’s probably not the best time to let staffers take off early. You don’t want to hurt your business in the long run because clients can’t get a timely response when they need it.  Always make sure there is a staff member available who can address customer service questions during business hours. It’s vital to come up with a summer schedule that works for both your employees and your customers. 

  1. Write the summer policy down.  

One you have the plan, be sure to write it out and make sure it’s available to all your employees. That way if questions come up you can refer to the policy document.  

  1. Explain it to your employees. 

Don’t just write it down, hold a meeting and walk your employees through the policy and explain how it works.  Give them an opportunity to ask questions too.  To avoid any hurt feelings or confusion, you may also choose to speak beforehand with anyone who may be ineligible to participate. 

  1. Accountability.  

Some employees may struggle to adapt to the new summer policy. Put a system in place to monitor your workers and their work product to ensure everyone is thriving and the program is not creating more stress and strain on your employees or your business. Once the program is established, employers should periodically assess how it is progressing and track employees’ productivity to determine the summer schedule’s impact on worker output. 

What are the risks of implementing a Summer Policy? 

Clearly, there are great benefits to adopting a summer work policy. At the same time, different businesses have different needs, and these needs may not always allow for the offering of company summer hours or varying dress codes. It’s important to take into consideration the risks your policy may pose to your business before you implement the policy. These risks vary from a shortage of employees to breakdown of communications among staff, to reduced productivity and lack of engagement during the summer months.  Be sure you identify the risks your policy may pose and have a plan in place to address these risks should they come about.  


There are any number of other summer policies to consider, including theme days, long lunch days, outdoor break times, summer bonus programs, we could go on and on.  Whatever you decide to do, ensure that your policy shows your employees that you value and trust them.  When team members feel valued and are allowed to spend more time with people they love or doing things they enjoy outside of the office, they’re more likely to feel recharged when they return to a regular work environment come fall.  And that is the point after all.  

Should you have any questions about developing summer work policies or would like to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss other employment law needs, contact Navigant Law Group, LLC at (847) 253-8800 or contact us email us at 

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This article constitutes attorney advertising. The material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.