12 Summer Perks Employees Love


One way small business owners take care of their top assets (their employees) is by offering special perks during the summer. When it’s hot outside and business is slower, many companies, like the ones featured below, take time to reward their hardworking employees with little extras that boost morale, and create a more exciting work environment. If you haven’t yet planned any exciting perks for your office, it’s not too late to put a few of these cool benefits in place.

Here are 12 summer perks that employees love:

1. Summer Hours: Summer hours are a perfect fit for our company because there is a limited amount of time to take advantage of nice weather in Chicago. We know how important it is for our company to have benefits like summer hours for our whole team. We think GoHealth employees are extremely hardworking and we want to let them know it. Our goal with our new vacation and summer hours policies is to continually reward our team and hopefully use it as a way to show potential talent why GoHealth is a great place to further their career. -Erinn Springer

2. Casual Dress Code: I thought I would mention our casual dress code, which we kick into gear each summer. Our web writers work out of a heritage building originally built in 1913, and insulation is essentially non-existent. So in the sunny months it is like being in an oven. When we took over the office space three years ago, we removed the old, noisy air conditioners, and opted to open windows and employ an every day is casual day dress code. And the ongoing joke is whenever clients swing by the office, our writers state, “You caught us on casual Thursday, or Friday, or whatever day it happens to be.” The casual attire makes us more comfortable and seems to spawn a more creative atmosphere. -Rick Sloboda

3. Team Building Adventures: We are actually in the middle of planning a sail boat race with our whole head office crew here in Victoria, BC, Canada - between 15 and 20 people. Our general manager Luticia (Tish) Hill and her husband and 8 year old daughter go out sailing quite often on their Ross 30 (30 feet long) and have offered to teach all of us in the UsedEverywhere team how to partake in a sailing race.  We will be learning how to read the instruments, about some basic nautical terms, and how to work and communicate better as a team in a high-paced, pressurized and outdoor fun environment. This is crucial for us because working all day indoors during the summer can sometimes be difficult for office workers - so were trying to get the company outdoors and learning! -Charlotte Cowley

4. Ice Cream Socials: Our dress code is normally business casual but in the summer months we relax our office dress code requirements. This allows our employees to take advantage of the summer weather and feel comfortable going outside during lunch and coffee breaks. The summer policy is welcomed by all of our employees. Also, in the summer we will go to a local ice cream stand and bring back to the office various flavors of ice cream shakes which are always welcomed on a summer Friday afternoon. -Tom Hoarty

5. Extended Lunch Breaks: This summer we have decided to eliminate the dress code:  shorts, polos, flip-flops, all acceptable. This temporary change was quite popular with everyone putting a smile on every face (besides, it helps to save on electricity bills). Moreover, we have extended the lunch time breaks to allow people more time to breath fresh air in the nearby parks, eat ice-cream, and enjoy themselves outside the concrete walls. I strongly believe such things are vital for every business team regardless of the size and location. It really boosts productivity, stamina, and makes people open up, which helps in creating a strong, friendly team ready for hard work and creative ideas. -John White

6. Fresh Garden Veggies: We have an employee garden to provide staff and interns with fresh produce and herbs. It’s in the form of a 7×23 foot living wall along the edge of our parking lot, so it’s also attractive and eye catching. It’s pretty to look at, fun for us to watch the progress, and the fresh organic veggies are a nice perk for employees at our small art business. -Sheryl Woodhouse-Keese

7. Party Time: Here at SpareFoot, we celebrate when we reach major thresholds. We’re located in downtown Austin, so most of our get-togethers involve going to a nice restaurant or bar downtown for a teambuilding event. In the summer, we extend the hours of our celebrations a little and enjoy a nice day out on Lake Travis. In May, we had our most profitable month ever, so we’re renting a party barge and bringing the whole team. We’ve found that bringing the entire company encourages bonding across departments, which has sparked innovative solutions to some of our day-to-day problems. -Tony Emerson

8. Fun Fridays: As a startup, we have a super fun work environment and things only get better in the summer. In the summer we have paid half day Fridays from Memorial day to Labor day - there are always optional company sponsored events too BBQ’s, Wine Tasting, F1 Racing, Golf Course etc. Our founders wanted to create a fun work environment that makes people happy - because happy employees are more productive employees! These activities also encourage employee engagement and build company morale. -Stephanie Bullis

9. City Escapes: As a New York City internet start-up, summertime in the city is a great time to loosen things up. Today, half our staff is in shorts. Monday, we headed out a bit early to enjoy drinks on the hotel rooftop next door - relaxing on lounge chairs with the Empire State building in the background. We take to Bryant Park for more leisurely lunches and a beach outing is planned for mid-summer. Yes - it boosts productivity. Our office can be quite hot (it hit 94 degrees last week) and without casual wear perks there’d surely be a lot of griping. -Kalen Holliday

10. Unlimited Days Off: Our CPA firm is extremely slow in the summer so we have unlimited days off in the off season. As long as the work gets done they can take time off any no one will be tracking there time. The employees appreciate this and do not abuse it. On the business side we are making a concentrated effort to touch our clients instead of doing marketing for new clients. This allows us to cross sell and increase our referrals. -Eric Robinson

11. Early Closings: In the summer we close at noon on Fridays. We arrange it so one clerical staff person is available all day in case we need to deal with an emergency Friday afternoon, but that is not the norm. They rotate that duty. The rest of the week, they arrange their forty hours however they wish. -Thomas Tuft

12. Restaurant Hopping: We took a pretty radical approach to enjoying summer and started a new company owned website that had only one goal, to force us to explore a new restaurant and outdoors activity every week and post it to our website! The feedback has been incredible and we have met hundreds of new people in our community. -Dylan Valade

It’s important to make your business a fun place to work. You can start by taking care of your employees. Use the summer perks above to create unique benefits for your team. By showing a little appreciation in the summer months, you can keep your employees smiling all year round. Happy employees, make happy customers, which absolutely adds to your bottom line. Have fun making your employees smile… it’s worth it!

One Comment

  1. Posted June 22, 2011 at 12:05 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for featuring SpareFoot in your write-up! We’re excited for our upcoming boat party.

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