An End to the Supposed Summer Slowdown?

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Raleigh, NC – April 25, 2012 – When it comes to employee effectiveness, summertime is traditionally viewed as a stretch fraught with warm weather distractions. The sun is shining, kids are out of school, and employees are ducking out early for long weekend getaways. Conventional wisdom says that all of these factors can equate to a summer slowdown, but the results of a new Workplace Options and Public Policy Polling survey of American workers show this is no longer the case.

The poll results, released today by Workplace Options, a leading global provider of work-life programs and employee benefits, show that only one in five respondents (19 percent) feel their personal productivity suffers when the weather is nice, while one in four (26 percent) notice more easily distracted or less efficient co-workers.

“These results are really a testament to how far employers have come in meeting the demands of a changing workforce,” said Dean Debnam, chief executive officer of Workplace Options. “The urge to leave early for a long weekend hasn’t gone away, but employers are offering tools that promote work-life balance and flexibility so employees have the best of both worlds. They can get their work done and still find time for personal pursuits.”

Survey results also showed:

  • 23 percent of workers said their employer, as a whole, was less productive during summer months, compared to 53 percent that reported no seasonal effect
  • 25 percent said their company offers schedule flexibility for parents juggling summer camps, vacations and children out of school
  • 52 percent reported that there was actually an increase in workload during summer months

Flexibility a Must for Millennials
One of survey’s biggest reveals for employers was that summer flexibility or scheduling perks are almost a must for attracting young talent – with 79 percent of millennials (ages 18-29) reporting that flexible summer schedules make employers more attractive.

“Summer still brings distractions, it always will,” Debnam added. “But employers are finding that if they are flexible enough to accommodate their employees’ needs outside the office, their productivity and commitment to the job remains high, regardless of what the weather is like outside.”

The national survey was conducted by the North Carolina firm of Public Policy Polling, March 15-17, 2012. The survey polled 570 working Americans and has a margin of error of +/- 4.1 %.

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