Perk Up for Summer

Employees Want Flexible Schedules and Summer Fridays.

Toronto, ON – What are the hottest summer perks? Canadian employers seem to have missed the memo. Workers surveyed by staffing firm OfficeTeam said they’re most interested in flexible schedules (46 per cent), but only 27 per cent of Canadian human resources (HR) managers reported their organization offers them at this time of year.


Benefits workers find most appealing*

What’s offered at companies**

Flexible schedules



Leaving early on Fridays



More relaxed dress code



Activities such as a company picnic or potluck



*Top responses shown.

**Multiple responses permitted. Top responses shown.

Additional findings:

  • One in five HR managers (20 per cent) feel workers are less productive during the summer months.  Another 69 per cent said there’s no change in on-the-job performance.
  • Unexpected absences (28 per cent) and being overly distracted or checked out at work (20 per cent) were identified as the most common negative employee behaviours this time of year, ahead of dressing too casually (18 per cent), not planning well for vacations (17 per cent) and sneaking in late or leaving early (14 per cent).

“Companies can leverage summer perks to boost morale. These incentives allow employees to relax, recharge and enjoy the season while still meeting project deadlines,” said Koula Vasilopoulos, a district president for OfficeTeam. “Find what works for your team by regularly seeking their feedback. Providing attractive benefits not only keeps current staff motivated, but can also set your organization apart for potential candidates.”

OfficeTeam offers managers five tips to help staff make the most of summer at work:

  1. Perk up. Give employees more control over how they spend their time by offering flexible schedules and occasionally letting them leave early on Fridays. Just make sure policies are clear so business can continue as usual.
  2. Rally for rest. Remind workers to take time off, and set an example by doing so yourself. Bring in temporary professionals to fill in during absences.
  3. Venture out. Holding meetings outdoors or while taking a walk is a great way to get fresh air while accomplishing business objectives.  
  4. Have some fun. Plan an ice cream break, picnic or group outing. Employees will appreciate being able to relax and bond with colleagues in a non-work setting.  
  5. Dress down. Allow staff who aren’t customer- or client-facing to wear more casual attire, as long as it doesn’t detract from work. You might even consider instituting themed Fridays where Hawaiian shirts or sports apparel are encouraged.

About the Research

The surveys of HR managers and workers were developed by OfficeTeam. They were conducted by independent research firms and include responses from more than 400 HR managers at Canadian companies with 20 or more employees, and more than 300 Canadian workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments.

About OfficeTeam

OfficeTeam, a Robert Half company, is the nation’s leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. The company has 300 locations worldwide. For additional information, visit Follow @RobertHalf_CAN on Twitter and the OfficeTeam Take Note® blog at for career and management advice.


summer perks infographic


The summer benefits workers find most appealing, and what companies offer

    What workers want most What companies offer*
  Flexible schedules 46% 27%
  Leave early on Fridays 25% 37%
  More relaxed dress code 10% 33%
  Activities such as a company picnic or potluck 8% 19%

(Top responses shown)

*Multiple responses permitted.

1/5 of HR managers feel employees are less productive during the summer months.

Much less productive 3%
Somewhat less productive 17%
Much more productive 6%
Somewhat more productive 4%
No difference 69%

The most common employee behaviour during the summer, according to HR managers:

Unexpected absences 28%
Being overly distracted/checked out 20%
Dressing too casually 18%
Not planning well for vacations 17%
Sneaking in late or leaving early 14%
Don’t know 2%

Source: OfficeTeam survey of 303 human resources managers and 434 office workers in Canada.

Some responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding.

© 2017 OfficeTeam. A Robert Half Company.