A new poll suggests “Summer Fridays” may be the answer to boosting employee happiness at work. In a survey, commissioned by Wisetail and conducted by OnePoll, 59 percent of 2,000 working adults revealed their jobs offer “Summer Fridays,” the popular concept of allowing a half day or day off on Fridays during the summer season. More than eight in 10 employees noted that this perk made them feel much happier at work (85 percent).
Designed to delve into the impact weather may have on productivity, the survey found that 73 percent of respondents believe it directly impacts how they work. Cool temperatures (28 percent) and clear blue skies (27 percent) were associated with people being the most productive at work, while 43 percent of respondents believe they do their best work in the spring.
With working from home more popular than ever, it was no surprise that many (65 percent) prefer to work outside when the weather is nice, including working from local cafes (53 percent), rooftops (48 percent), and patios (48 percent).
Just as weather can promote a good day, it can also make for a bad day at work. Employees shared that conditions such as heavy rain (25 percent), freezing temperatures (25 percent), and snow (22 percent) can lead to an unproductive workday. All in all, 68 percent reported that their motivation to learn or absorb information at work dropped when the weather was poor. In fact, poor weather conditions were enough for 63 percent to believe it was a valid excuse to take more time on completing work-related tasks.
Another factor impacting productivity is time. In order to have the “best day” at work, the average person needs to wake up at 7:30 am. Rising an hour later at 8:30 am would be considered the “worst” way to start off the day. Daylight savings time was also found to impact productivity (64 percent), with 85 percent of respondents reporting they feel unproductive when the clock changes.
“While there are evolving variables to the explanation and reason behind productivity and nice weather, we can correlate better weather with a more positive outlook on the day and overall better mood,” says Kyle Reichelt, product manager at Wisetail. “We also know that better moods lead to increased motivation and self-confidence, which all contributes to efficiency levels in productivity.”
Aside from the workplace, the weather seems to play a role in people’s daily lives. The average respondent said they get seven migraines or headaches a year influenced by the weather.
Nearly two in three (63 percent) said they have struggled with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) before—a behavioral disorder where cold, grey weather affects vitamin D and dopamine levels.
Of those who experience this condition, 80 percent said it affects the quality of work they put in at their jobs. “Increasing workplace productivity starts with learning which task management tricks work best for you,” continues Reichelt. “While we can’t control the weather, we can control how we tackle our day and adjust for different weather conditions knowing how they affect us.”
He recommends focusing on one task at a time, taking regular breaks, creating time-blocks on your schedule, and initiating small goals with achievable objectives. “Also, try waking up a bit earlier,” says Reichelt. “As noted in the study, many find that waking up before 7:30 a.m. affects productivity and energy throughout the day. Further, assigning yourself your most challenging tasks that require intense focus at the peak clear-minded time of the day leads to increased productivity and efficiency.” Giving employees “Summer Fridays” can also boost morale.