NEW YORK, May 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Starting in the 1960s, New York advertising agencies began to realize that employee productivity on Fridays was close to zero when the summer sun was shining and beach houses beckoned. And so the unofficial weekly "Summer Friday" holiday was born, and soon quickly spread to other industries in offices across the country.
Today, however, employers are increasingly demanding more work and longer hours from people, and so out go those Summer Fridays. A recent Harris Interactive study commissioned by Ultimat vodka conducted online in May 2012 among 1,201 employed adults aged 21+ revealed that:
- 12 percent of employed adults indicated that their company offers a Summer Friday policy (e.g. closed on Friday, or half day on Fridays, during summer months). People in the Northeast are significantly more likely than those in the South to indicate that their company has a Summer Friday policy.
- Of those who receive Summer Fridays as a benefit, 41 percent say they often forfeit them because their workload is so heavy.
- The majority (88 percent) of employed U.S. adults aged 21+ indicated that their company does not offer a Summer Friday perk.
The survey topic was developed to study perceptions of how a few extra hours away from work in the summer can contribute positively to people's morale and productivity, and their overall work/life balance. (The examination of work/life balance is the premise of Ultimat vodka's new "Find Balance. Find Ultimat." brand campaign – a response to the cultural tension among hard working professionals who spend so much of their lives in the office and have little time for themselves.)
"Employers take note," says Jennifer Long, brand director at Patron Spirits, the brand owner and marketer of ultra-premium Ultimat vodka. "Our survey clearly indicates that if you offer people the ability to take a Summer Friday, they'll be happier and actually more productive during working hours."
Specifically, the survey found that:
- Over three quarters (78 percent) of employed adults aged 21+ who do not have Summer Fridays agree that they would take advantage of the perk if offered.
- More than seven in ten (73 percent) employed adults aged 21+ who do not have Summer Fridays agree that if they did, it would help them find balance between work and personal life. Among people who do have Summer Fridays, a full 87 percent agreed that this employment benefit contributes to a healthy work/life balance.
- Three-quarters (75 percent) of employed adults aged 21+ who do not have Summer Fridays agree that having a Summer Friday policy would boost morale.
- More than three-quarters (76 percent) of employed adults agree Summer Friday policies are an effective tool for increasing productivity.
Among people who receive Summer Friday benefits, not surprisingly 86 percent of them use the perk to start their weekend early. Additionally, the survey revealed:
- Nearly seven out of ten (69 percent) of employed U.S. adults aged 21+ agree that Summer Fridays are a great time to unwind and enjoy cocktails with friends or co-workers.
- Nearly four out of five (79 percent) of employed U.S. adults aged 21+ who have Summer Fridays catch up on chores on Friday, in order to have more time to enjoy their weekend.
ABOUT THIS SURVEY
Harris Interactive® fielded the study on behalf of Ultimat vodka (Patron Spirits) from May 8-10, 2012 via its QuickQuery(SM) online omnibus service, interviewing 2,018 U.S. adults age 21 years and older of whom 1,201 are employed. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact [email protected].
ABOUT ULTIMAT VODKA
Ultimat Vodka is one of the world's most distinctive vodkas. Created in the birthplace of vodka—Poland—it is the only vodka distilled from both grains (wheat and rye) and potato, a break from the traditional process of using just one or the other. The result is a subtle taste, smooth texture, and rich complexity uncommon in most vodkas. Ultimat vodka is bottled in a striking cobalt blue crystal decanter. For more information about Ultimat vodka, visit www.ultimatvodka.com.
SOURCE Ultimat Vodka