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Do British businesses need to embrace summer perks?

In countries across the globe it is common for businesses to offer seasonal perks during warmer months, such as more relaxed dress codes, flexible working and reduced hours. However, new research conducted by amongst 2,500 employees found that only a fifth (20%) of UK workers recieve similar summer benefits.


This is despite the fact that the majority of workers (63%) believe that all British employers should have policies in place during the summer, particularly when temperatures are high, which would have been warmly welcomed during last week’s heat wave.


In the US, for example, most companies offer workers the advantage of ‘Summer Fridays’, where offices will close at around 3pm so that staff can make the most of the sunshine. While the proportion of UK employers offering such benefits is small, of those employees that do receive perks during the summer season, the most common are:


  1. Early finishes (31.1%)
  2. Summer parties for staff (23.2%)
  3. Summer BBQs (15.3%)
  4. Company drinks (7.4%)
  5. A change in dress code to accommodate the heat (7%)


Furthermore, over a quarter (28.6%) of UK workers place importance on these perks when job hunting, with 84.2% stating that they would be more attracted to a company that offered them. And an additional 51% believe that Summer Fridays are a valid substitute for year-round flexible working.


Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV Library, commented, “Workplace perks are important to staff and are key to achieving a great company culture. Last week’s heatwave is likely to prompt debate around working conditions, so it’s a good time for businesses considering seasonal perks to introduce new summer incentives. This doesn’t need to be a complete overhaul on what’s already on offer, but something to complement existing perks and demonstrate the value placed on staff welfare.


“The UK’s ‘summer’ weather is much more unpredictable than our counterparts, so it’s not massively surprising to find that we don’t place as much importance on these traditions! However, last week’s exhausting temperatures prove that the occasional summer perk would be well received. Small steps such as letting staff go home early on very hot days, organising outdoor drinks or a BBQ (weather permitting!) to celebrate employees’ hard work can all help staff to feel valued and motivated.”


When asked which perks they would prefer to have, almost half of employees (49.6%) opted for summer fridays or reduced hours. A further 9.2% would prefer a change in dress code to accommodate the heat and 7.5% would choose a summer party. The findings also reveal that 95.2% believe that allowing staff the flexibility to enjoy the summer is good for morale.


Biggins concluded, "Taking these perks into account and figuring out what best suits your organisation can help to keep employees motivated throughout the summer. More and more candidates are focussing on workplace perks as a massive pull factor in their employment decision and those organisations that don’t make the appropriate adjustments could risk falling behind their competition when it comes to recruiting the very best talent.”

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