Does an early Friday finish inspire employees?

Does an early Friday finish inspire employees?

July 17, 2014

If you decide to read only one story today before merrily emailing the link to your boss, make it this one.

More firms are trialling giving employees an early start to the weekend – with some experts suggesting that early Friday finishes inspire people to ‘give back more and work harder’.

The Daily Mail reports that a growing numbers of UK businesses are attempting to deal with the ‘Friday Feeling’ (yes, you know exactly what I mean) by allowing workers to finish early on Fridays in the summer months.

The newspaper lists Kellogg’s, L’Oreal and online fashion firm Asos as some of the firms ditching the traditional 9am-5pm working hours for an early Friday finish, aiming to boost employee engagement.

But does such an approach work? Indeed we’ve already considered the benefits – or lack of – of a more relaxed approach on Fridays – particularly on the impact of dress down Fridays.

Reesearch appears to support those championing an early finish for the weekend.

A survey of 2,000 office workers in the UK – commissioned by British Airways – revealed most had already switched off by 2.39pm on a Friday, browsing social media or emailing friends instead of concentrating on work.

Professor Frank Bond, a leading expert in Occupational Psychology, said: ”With most people working more than their contracted hours, it is perhaps no surprise that people tend to take their foot off the pedal on Friday afternoons.

”It’s certainly not ideal to have important meetings at the end of the week, as we wind down for the weekend. In most cases, that meeting can wait until Monday morning.

”A great deal of research shows that giving such control over work scheduling makes employees more productive, motivated and healthy.”

However experts are split over whether an early Friday finish would actually improve motivation among employees or not.

Dan Cable, professor of organisational behaviour at London Business School, said: “It can be very effective for firms to give back more than they need.”

But employee performance expert Paul Matthews believes time may erode the impact of such a policy.

He added: “It loses its capability to motivate after a while and they cease to notice it.

“If companies are thinking they can use it as a motivator, after a while it becomes stale.”

To read the full story, visit the Daily Mail Online here…