8 Start-up Perks for the Summer Months

Members of the Young Entrepreneur Council dish on their favorite--and most effective--seasonal employee benefits.

Summer can be a hard season for start-ups. Employees who didn't mind being chained to their desks until 9 p.m. in December might not feel the same way come July 4. But you're in charge here, right? So, make it easier for your employees to get out the door early without sacrificing productivity. Eight successful founders from the Young Entrepreneur Council share which summery perks keep their people engaged--even when the heat's turned up:

1. Take Beach Breaks

It depends on where you are located, but for any business near a beach, taking the day off and having a small "company retreat" can be great! I've found that while the beach is an ideal break place, any break is good and healthy for the company. In fact, some of our best ideas often come out on these breaks because of casual conversation and the nature of a fun company outing. --Scott Ferreira, MySocialCloud

2. Have a 9/80 Schedule

Make your employees happy, and they will deliver. A 9/80 schedule during the summer months is a great way to accomplish this. 9/80 means 80 working hours in nine days. Essentially, it means your employees get every other Friday off in return for working slightly longer hours the previous week and Monday through Thursday. It's also great for employee retention. Would you want to give up that benefit? --Mitch Gordon, Go Overseas

3. Implement GSD Mondays

The start of your workweek sets the standard for the rest of the week. We instituted GSD ("get sh!t done") Mondays. We provide employee dinners every Monday at 8 p.m. for the company. As a small business, you have a low budget and an accountability to investors. Team meals pay for themselves in productivity dividends. --Matt Ehrlichman, Porch


4. Incorporate Summer Hours

We instituted summer hours from Memorial Day to Labor Day, which means we leave early on Friday afternoons. This may seem counterproductive, but even with the loss of two hours of work on a Friday, we saw absolutely no loss in productivity. --John Meyer, Lemon.ly



5. Work Hard, Play Hard, and Reward

Last summer, Astonish employees worked extra hours during the week in order to get out at 2 p.m. on Fridays. Summer hours are great! This not only allows your employees to spend extra time in the sun with their family and friends on the weekends, but it can help your employees improve their time- and project-management skills. Productivity and success should always be rewarded! --Adam DeGraide, Astonish

6. Create an Outdoor Workspace

Don't keep your employees cooped up inside looking yearningly out the window. Instead, set up a picnic table or other outside workspace solution, and encourage people to work outside when it's nice out. --Kelsey Meyer, Influence & Co.


7. Have Walking Meetings

Walking meetings are the best way to get people off their chats and out of the air-conditioned office--no matter how hot it is. A change of pace (literally) can make a big difference. --Derek Flanzraich, Greatist


8. Promote Healthiness

Promote healthy lifestyle activities, such as healthy lunches or company running groups. Even if they take place during working hours, your team will get to enjoy the nice weather and may feel less compelled to leave at 5 p.m. on the dot. --Robert J. Moore, RJMetrics



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