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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)


  • Scott Marden, research director of Captivate Networks

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  • 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.

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