90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Thursday, July 12, 2012

Do Summer Hours Help The Bottom Line?

Many companies allow workers to skip out of work a few hours early during the summer. Sometimes, an employee can work four 10 hour days — or get out early on a Friday. A new survey, by Captivate Networks, finds that about half of white collar employees work in offices with shorter summer hours. But employees working those shorter hours say they were less productive and suffered from more stress.

(Captivate Networks)

Guest:

  • Scott Marden, research director of Captivate Networks

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Guest

    This is a perceived effect.  People who telecommute or leave early always feel pressure either to “jump on a call” or “they are not heard as well as others who are in the office”, or “I’ve got to wrap this up before I leave”.  These are self imposed feelings, but if you asked others if the teleworker was less productive, I doubt you would find evidence of that.  Having managed teleworkers/flex-schedule people, they typically end up working harder simply because they feel the pressure of having to produce more for not being seen in the office.  Lastly, the survey should have asked, “Would you be willing to give up your summer hours arrangement?”   I bet none of the participants would be willing.

    • Careyg

      Hear hear. There are many good reasons to come in to the office, but I’m dramatically more productive when I stay home…

  • Info

     I think having the choice to work flexible hours is nice, even if one doesn’t always take advantage of it. In my workplace at a large university, we enjoy having the option to have more flexible hours, and I haven’t seen any problems with getting work done, as a result. There are also studies that supposedly show that employee morale doesn’t matter, and I am skeptical of that result as well, at least in terms of my personal experience.

    How was the study designed? Do the different percentages actually represent a statistically significant result from a representative sample? Some of the percentages are pretty similar across all the categories, including workplaces that don’t offer flexible hours. If there’s a large margin of error, they may not mean much at all.

    Does productiveness “in the workplace” refer to all work done for the employer, or only to work done in the physical office? Maybe productiveness was lower “in the workplace” but higher or the same overall?

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

July 30 Comment

As War And Conflicts Proliferate, Children Become Unwary Victims And Targets

Kids have always suffered during war and crisis, but there's a sense the burden of instability is being increasingly borne by children.

July 30 3 Comments

California Drought: A Central Valley Farmer’s Experience

Last month was the hottest June on Earth since records began in 1880, making the West Coast drought even harder for farmers.

July 29 13 Comments

U.S. ‘Border Crisis’ In A Global Context

Bill Frelick of Human Rights Watch says what the U.S. is seeing is dwarfed by the massive flow of refugees into other countries, such as Italy.

July 29 4 Comments

Iraq War Vet Returns To A Broken Country

Roy Scranton says what he found in Baghdad "shows the evidence of the truth of what we'd actually done."