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The HR Forum

Work life balance

Hi there, 

I wanted to start a discussion on experiences/views of a 'early friday finish'.  

My current employer has asked me to research the effects of finishing early on a Friday, 2pm. 

We currently work 8.30 to 4.30 Monday to Friday and work in the Manufacturing sector. We are looking to increase the Monday to Thursday 8.30 to 5pm and then take this time back on a Friday...


* Have you worked in an organisation that has this rule? 

* Does it actually give people a reward? 

* Are we heading more and more into a society that appreciates time over money?

* Do you get lost hours from a Friday afternoon or do you feel you get more hours from the extra 30 mins a day?




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  • Good  afternoon Gayle,

    You have chosen a great subject to discuss because to have Work-life Balance is very important it makes you a better parent and colleague. I have been learning recently about non -financial reward and Work-life Balance is one of them.

    So, it definitely counts as a reward to people by finishing earlier on Friday. Time becomes very precious if you want to spend more time with your loved ones, have some time for yourself or get away from everything. However, everybody got different needs if we look in Maslow's theory of motivation is called " hierarchy of needs" there are five basic. For some people will be fine to stay on the Physiological level, which includes; water, shelter, sleeping or Love and belonging level this link to people who more appreciate time while other people will be moving to next level Esteem basis level which is; status. recognition, self-esteem and freedom. Esteem basis can lead to people who more appreciates time than money.

    When we reach a Friday afternoon people already start planning their weekends and getting involved in conversations with their colleagues. If you count all these factors the productivity of employees goes down. So why not to leave a few hours earlier and balance more working hours from Monday to Thursday.  

    Best regards





  • Hi Gail

    Great post and I guess it will be about building a business case for the employer and the return on investment in terms of the early finish.

    This can quickly become custom and practice.

    I personally have not worked in an organisation where this has been applied but historially mainly manufacturing and engineering companies have applied this. This can sometimes be an attractive benefit that attracts employees into the business.

    I also remember reading some where a while ago about an employer who let their workforce leave once all the production targets (and quality) targets had been met for the week. The workforce left Thursday morning. I can imagine this is motivational short term but how to do you maintain this in terms of the reward being appreciated longer term?

    There is an interesting article here that explore some of the themesm it would be great ot hear how you get on.  A trial can always be useful, but it is the longer term where I would want to understand the impact more.


    Does anyone else have any thoughts on this for Gail?

    All the best



    Understanding incentives and letting your workers leave early
    (Introduction to Economics, Lesson 17)
  • Hi Gail,

    The core hours where I work are 40.5 per week and I too working manufacturing/distribution:

    Mon-Thu 7:30-16:30 & Fri 8:00-15:00 (30 minute lunch break)


    Mon-Thu 08:30-17:30 & Fri 08:30-17:30 (30 minute lunch break)

    This has been in place for a while now, before I started here 11 months ago. I believe that when the changes were implemented, it was done because employees were pushing for an early finish on Fridays. At the time they had 1 hour lunch break and by reducing the lunch break to 30 minutes this gave the 2 hours needed for the early finish on Friday. 

    Personally I think its great to have that early Friday finish and with the added bonus of being able to book holiday in hours, I can book as little as 2 hours holiday on a Friday and finish as early as 2:30pm. A real benefit to me as my husband and I like to escape at least 1 weekend a month in our motorhome so we can beat the traffic and get to the campsites at a reasonable hour without rushing. The downside is having a short lunch break but where the factory is, there isn't really anything around the immediate vicinty that gives any benefit for long lunch. 

    In terms of productivity, I couldn't really tell you if this has benefited us because I don't know what it was like pre-change. 

    Hope that helps?


  • Hi Gail,

    I also work in manufacturing (automotive) and the indirect staff (administration, support etc) have worked a 'short' Friday for many years. We now finish at lunchtime (12:20) on Friday (approx. 10 years ago it was 14:20, but with an extra 20mins day worked Mon-Thu, 80mins was removed from Friday allowing the 12:20 finish), giving a real 1/2 day feeling. The Mon-Thu 'extra' time is certainly put to use, and because staff are still finishing at 16:40 the day isn't seen to finish late.

    The contracted hours are 37hrs / week, and to accomodate the early Friday finish, the Mon-Thu hours were increased to 08:00 ~ 16:40, with 30mins unpaid for lunch.

    It's a big sellling point when recruiting new staff, and I would say 99.9% of the current staff really apppreciate the benefit of an early start to the weekend, and it's not caused any issues with the direct (production) staff who work mutliple shift patterns (prior to and after the 'day' shift) has gone home. All of our suppliers / support organisations are aware of the early finish and again it has not caused any concern.



  • Hi Gail

    My organisation are flexible as long as the contracted hours are completed.  I work 7.30am to 4pm Monday to Thursday and 7.30 to 12.30 on Friday.  I rarely take a lunch break and therefore always do slightly over my hours.  I love my Friday afternoons to myself.


    • Hi Lisa,

      That a perfect organization to work for.

      Would love to have these working hours in our company.


      Best regards



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