Forget Casual Fridays…

For whatever reason, summertime brings out a desire for casual attire and flexible hours for many employees, according to a recent Adecco Staffing survey. 

Specifically, 60% of respondents said they want flex time (e.g. Summer Fridays or ability to leave early on certain days) and 53% said they’d like extra vacation days this summer.  ‘Dressing down’ was also highly valued with 74% of Americans indicating they believe it’s appropriate to dress more casually in the summer.  

The desire for time and work flexibility in the summer cut across gender lines with nearly three out of five women (59%) choosing ‘extra vacation days’ as one of the three workplace benefits they’d most want compared to less than half of men surveyed (47%). Men showed a greater interest (60%) in having the ability to leave work early (e.g. Summer Fridays) opposed to checking out completely.   

In addition to time flexibility, close to half (42%) of American workers also want the option for casual workplace attire this summer. That said, there are limits to how far casual can go in the workplace – it seems the wardrobe line was drawn at flip flops, which were considered the biggest summer wardrobe offender with 71% of Americans considering them inappropriate for the workplace.  In fact, more people felt flip flops were more intolerable in the workplace than mini-skirts (70%) or even strapless tops and /or dresses (66%).     

The appropriateness of a relaxed summer dress code differed between men and women. More than three-quarters (76%) of women indicated strapless tops or dresses were inappropriate for the workplace, compared to just over half of men (55%) who felt the same. Eight out of 10 women believe mini-skirts are inappropriate compared to 61% of men.  

Employees More Active in Summer   

Adecco's survey also showed Americans historically look to the summer as a time for more attention to health and fitness. In addition to indicating they make healthier diet selections in the summer (78%), survey respondents claimed they are more active during the work day in the summer – whether on their lunch break or even when commuting to work.   

More than one-third (36%) of Americans have incorporated exercise into their daily commute through activities like walking, running or biking to the workplace in the summer months. More than 57% said they have taken walks on their lunch break.   

Nearly half of all Americans (49%) indicated they go to the gym before or after work during the summer months.    

One-quarter of Americans indicated they have participated in at least one workplace-organized summer sports league or activity. Just over one-fifth (21%) has participated in at least one workplace-sponsored fitness class.