'Out of office' written on notepad on desk
'Out of office' written on notepad on desk

Kellogg’s wants staff to ‘switch off’: The pros and cons of having Friday afternoons off work

The company has announced it will let employees take half-day Fridays during summer.

Katie Wright
Friday 07 May 2021 11:10

Get ready to feel a sudden surge of envy. Kellogg’s has announced it is encouraging employees to take Friday afternoons off during summer, to help them “switch off and take that time to do something they really enjoy”.

As a part of a flexible working scheme, office-based staff can finish work at noon on a Friday, provided they have completed a full week’s hours.

Sounds dreamy, doesn’t it? But would ‘summer hours’, as they’re called, really be all that good?

Pros

A shorter working week

man in suit walking out the door of his office

What’s not to love about this? Less work equals more relaxation. More time for an invigorating seaside hike, getting lost in a page-turner, or bingeing trash TV.

You could enjoy the weekday peace

Just think how delightful it would be not having to fight the weekend hordes to get a table at your favourite beer garden or brunch spot. The gym would be half-empty and you could browse the shops without worrying about people who apparently don’t understand the concept of social distancing.

Life admin would be easier

Similarly, you wouldn’t have to brave the Saturday morning queue at the post office or bank. You could whizz through all your errands after work on Friday, leaving the weekend gloriously life-admin-free.

More ‘me’ time

Sometimes, when you’ve got a hectic weekend on the horizon, all you want is some alone time. Having Friday afternoon off would give you the chance to recharge your batteries before all the socialising begins.

Weekends away would be better

You could beat the traffic while driving to a seaside escape, or beat the extortionate airfares (when we’re able to jet off overseas again). Plus, you’d arrive just in time for a pre-dinner beverage, instead of rocking up at the hotel at midnight after scurrying out of work with your wheelie bag at 6pm.

Cons

Longer hours the rest of the week

Don’t forget, you’d still have to complete your usual hours each week, which would mean later finishes (or earlier starts) the rest of the days. And those Friday mornings trying to cram everything in before noon could be more hassle than they’re worth.

Could you really switch off?

While with some jobs, it’s easy enough to log off and forget about work once you’re out the door, with others you can’t so easily hand over the reins. If you fall into the latter camp, you just know you’d still be checking your emails every five minutes, or glancing at your phone waiting for a problem to arise that only you can fix.

Friday afternoons at work are fun

With fewer meetings and fewer big bosses lurking, Friday afternoons are often the best time to be in the office. Everyone’s in a good mood, you might be heading to the pub for a long lunch or post-work pint, and there’s usually gossip to share from Thursday night’s shenanigans. Would you really want to miss out on all that?

Who would you hang out with?

Sadly, not many companies often summer hours. So while you’d be free on Fridays, you might find you don’t have many people to hang out with, because they’re all still stuck at work.

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