Take Your Leisure Time Whenever You Want
Tom Kerr writing on self-employment…
Corporate America is having a summer fling.
Employers are smitten with a newfound gimmick called “Summer Fridays,” and the business news media can’t get enough of it. They gleefully trumpet this as a fantastic, leading-edge perk that shows how much companies genuinely value their employees.
Summer Fridays is basically a summertime corporate policy that involves letting employees leave work a little early on Fridays. Many companies offer workers a half-day off on Fridays from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
But don’t think for a minute that it’s because big companies want to be generous.
This is just one more way to leverage higher productivity at a lower cost to your boss. For decades businesses have noticed a significant loss of productivity on Friday afternoons, especially in the summertime. Even when you are still in your cubicle, your mind is halfway out the door because you know it’s almost the weekend. You try to call a client, but they’ve already left the office. Your bosses may already be teeing off at the golf course…calling it a work-related meeting.
Your mind wanders and your focus fades, and it’s not because you haven’t had enough coffee. It’s nature’s way of telling you that you belong outside, in the great outdoors.
By acknowledging the Friday lack of productivity syndrome and giving you official permission to be less focused, companies can claim it as an employee benefit. That’s way cheaper than, say, offering you a full three-day weekend…or, heaven forbid, giving you a raise. When you start your weekend a few hours early your boss also gets more productivity out of you on Monday…a day when employees are notoriously sluggish.
And you can be sure that most companies celebrating Summer Fridays insert some caveats into that policy. Some will let employees go at two in the afternoon, instead of at noon. That way, if you take a long lunch it makes you look lazy or like you aren’t a devoted worker.
So employees feel pressured to skip lunch on Friday…and give that hour back to the company, without compensation. Your boss will probably tell you to keep your phone turned on, too, in case you’re needed…and if a special project comes up, oh well…you may have to cancel a Summer Friday or two…for the team. Plus, if your HR department sets prescheduled Summer Fridays, you are bound to get rained out on at least a few of those days. That pretty much degrades the value of the perk.
Don’t get me wrong. I think Summer Friday is an awesome concept. It’s so cool, in fact, that you may want to make every day a Summer Friday…even in fall, winter, and spring.
All you have to do is become your own boss, which is easier than ever thanks to the abundant opportunities afforded to you these days to earn independent income. Never in history have so many people – including historic numbers of workers over the age of 50 – found lucrative, multiple, fun and exciting ways to earn more money while putting in fewer hours.
When you’re your own boss – doing what you love, for yourself – the hours you put in don’t feel that much like work, either. Work becomes a lot more like a Summer Friday.
P.S. Discover how you can enjoy a more laidback, authentic, independent way of life in The Savvy Retiree Daily. Sign up below to have it delivered – free of charge – to your email inbox.