I’ve always felt that Friday afternoons were off limits from a business perspective. Most of my clients don’t want to meet on a Friday afternoon, unless there’s some sort of emergency or tight deadline. Friday afternoons were for catching up, getting organized, and hopefully, walking out the door on time.
But that’s changing. This summer we’ve seen the emergence of “Summer Fridays”. In a nutshell, it’s the benefit of leaving early on Fridays. Lots has been written about Summer Fridays, if you want to check it out.
While I love the idea of Summer Fridays, I also struggle with it. Why “Summer” Fridays – versus Fall Fridays, Winter Fridays, Spring Fridays? I don’t mean that to be flip. I could definitely use some extra time during holiday season – Winter Fridays would be awesome!
I do wonder if all the good will intended with Summer Fridays will end up becoming a source of frustration when Labor Day marks employees having to work until 5 p.m. (or later!) on a Friday afternoon. It will be interesting to see what happens. Again, I love the idea. It’s a nice perk that can reduce stress, increase engagement, and add a little fun to the workplace.
Instead of Summer Fridays, some organizations are doing the exact opposite. They’re holding staff meetings on Friday afternoons. I’ve heard about a couple of organizations using Friday afternoon to connect as a team. They debrief as a group, talk about their accomplishments, and have little fun (i.e. happy hour, barbecue, etc.). The company says it helps to promote a family atmosphere and ends the work week on a positive note.
I believe how an organization defines Friday afternoon could say a lot about their company culture and values. So, the question becomes, “What does Friday afternoon mean in your organization?” And is that acceptable? Or should the company consider doing something different to get better results?
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby somewhere on Duval Street in Key West, FL