NEWS FLASH: Doctors say there’s a chance that employees who call out sick on Mondays or Fridays in the summer may not actually be all that sick.
According to Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat, doctors in the country see an increase in employees applying for sick leave towards the end of summer. And various surveys over the years have only confirmed what employers fear: One survey found that 39 percent of office employees have phoned in a summer sick day just to get a day off. And another survey found that 20 percent of employees phone in sick once every summer just to enjoy the beautiful weather.
“There will be people who will do this,” Dr. Ellen Ernst Kossek, of the Purdue University Krannert School of Management, told Travel + Leisure. “And while some companies will call people out on this, I would like to see proactive companies get ahead of the game.”
Providing employees flexible hours in the summer — like the ability to leave early on Fridays or select shortened weeks — could translate into higher employee satisfactions and fewer surprise morning phone calls that an employee will not be coming in.
No matter how companies decide to proceed, they should “recognize that the rhythms of work shift in the summer,” Kossek said.
Employees tend to call out the day after a vacation particularly if their time off was spent overindulging in alcohol or if they were on an active vacation in a different time zone. Kossek suggested that employees leave one extra day of recovery between their vacations and their start date back at work to avoiding invoking a boss’s ire.
But for those employees lucky enough to have summer Fridays, hotels around the world are offering packages to help take advantage of the three-day weekend.
The One&Only Ocean Club in the Bahamas offers a special package Summer Fridays package, including an early check-in so guests can relish every free hour of the weekend. And guests who arrive at the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York City before 2 p.m. on Fridays can grab a free cocktail at the St. Cloud rooftop bar to toast to the long weekend.
After all, summer Fridays are all about long-term productivity for the company. Right?