Let’s Talk TGIF: Fridays in the Workplace

Fri”yays” as it is popularly termed by employees are surely one of the days that see more smiles on the faces of employees than the other days of the week. This might be for different reasons; for some, it’s simply the joy of having to experience the weekend once again, and for others, it might just be because it is usually a fun and relaxed day at the office – some organizations specially set out Fridays as Karaoke time, TGIF or a hangout time with the team. But for whatever reason that Friday gets to see so many smiles on the faces of people, it’s totally worth it! After a pretty long week of serious work, a not-too-serious day shouldn’t hurt at all. 

Over the years…

There has been a controversy on what a typical Friday should look like. This has stirred up reactions from both employers and employees. From employees’ point of view, it is argued that a less stressful Friday is a good way to round off the week after all the stress and pressure, while for a lot of employers, it is somewhat perceived as not wanting to build capacity as an employee; which is the ability to do additional work. 

Should Summer Fridays be a Significant Trend?

Some organizations have come up with the Summer Friday concept where employees spend half of their working hours at work.  It is also called Half Day Friday. For organizations that adopted this, employees claim that it increased their productivity level as it helped them achieve quite a lot during the short period of time. This is because of the perceived excitement that comes immediately after work. So about 66 percent of workers affirmed that half Fridays increase productivity. Invariably the thought of having the remaining days to themselves would swing them into action and make them do much more within a short period of time. 

Friday Traditions in the Workplace

Here are a few conventions that take place on Fridays in various organizations. These traditions differ from one organization and are being adopted based on factors like level of income of the organization, organizational structure, and planning, the dispositions of the employees, and the number of employees involved.

Casual Fridays

Basically, this is dressing to work in casual outfits to denote that Fridays are relaxed days with not too much pressure. So it’s like a “dress well but don’t dress up” kind of day. The idea is to give Fridays that “less pressure and more relaxed

TGIF

For some organizations, it is a special day set aside to catch some fun and talk about the progress and downsides of the week. Also, for discussing the preparations and expectations of the coming week. 

Friday Treats

Preferably some organizations would see to the welfare of their employees by giving them ice cream treats, free lunch, coffee treats, and lots more. This might not necessarily be at the expense of work hours as employees could have their treats while being engrossed with work. 

Take the Day Off

Some organizations have deemed it to give their workers Fridays off. A lot of new generation companies are rapidly adopting this development and it seems like it is a huge feat. According to a pilot study conducted by Microsoft, working for four days a week “boosted productivity by over forty percent.” This is quite a laudable feat for a shorter work window. 

Statistics About Fridays 

  • Productivity at work is always at its barest compared to other days of the week that have about 80% productivity level. 
  • A larger percentage of employees experience more distraction on Fridays than any part of the week. 
  • Employees are more engaged on other days of the week than Fridays. 
  • Productivity at work is not totally determinant on the number of hours whether Friday is inclusive or not. 
  • Overworked employees record a higher level of mistakes on Fridays. 

Fridays and Work-Life Balance

Employees have argued that the inclusion of Fridays into the weekends would improve work-life balance as it would help employees focus more on their personal goals and self-development. However, most employers have not really seen the need to imbue this development. This is because the inclusion of Fridays would surmount to a shorter work week and a smaller number of work hours. This might, in turn, affect output in the workplace. Although, research in Microsoft proved this assertion wrong as the inclusion of Friday in the weekend gave rise to a 40% increase in productivity level. Invariably one more addition to the weekend was worth it. 

But in actuality…

The weekend is never really a time off. For a handful of employees, Saturdays are basically for clearing off the remaining fragments of work for the previous week. Sundays are almost always meant for preparation for the following work week. So the hustle is like a progression; it just never ends. Nevertheless, setting aside Friday as either a day off or a fun day looks like the perfect time to get some time off from work to relax and rejuvenate from stress. 

A typical Friday in the Workplace?

Fridays basically should be fun and ecstatic. Although Fridays are still to be considered as the last workday of the week which should be a “wrap up” of all corporate activities for the week too. So how do we find a balance between creating fun on Fridays and making corporate moves?

A favorable balance has to be created

Firstly, Fridays being the final day of the week, should be a perfect day to reflect on how many achievements, milestones, and setbacks were recorded for the week. How subsequent weeks could be better and productive should be disccused. But who says appraisal and evaluation moments in the workplace can’t be fun? It could be done over snacks or coffee. It could be an outdoor activity or an avenue to rekindle the team bonding spirit. It just shouldn’t be a work-heavy day; people need to breathe and recuperate from the week’s labor. It also shouldn’t be a completely unproductive day too; the day shouldn’t get by without evidence of achieving corporate results in the workplace. So somewhere between work and fun for Fridays, a favorable balance has to be created. It can be a productive day; yet a fun day!

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