What’s With Half Day Friday?

You probably know that I love “No Meeting Friday.”  That is, setting aside Friday for creative work and not allowing any meetings that day.  I find this to be a tremendous productivity booster.

However, lately I have noticed a disturbing trend on Fridays.  I don’t want to paint with too broad a brush, but it seems that more and more businesses are empty on Friday afternoons.

Is your office a ghost town by mid-afternoon on Fridays?  Is 2PM the normal departure time before the weekend?

When did casual Friday turn into casually working Friday?

Half Day Friday or Half #$% Friday?

Huh?  Half Day Friday?  When did this happen?

Last time I looked at the economy, most companies weren’t doing so great.

So, somebody thought… let’s work less?

Gary Vaynerchuk was recently on the CBS News Backstage Live and lamented about how hard it was to do business on Friday afternoons.

I am in favor of flexible work environments (a la ROWE), however without accountability these quickly devolve into chaos.

Hustle When Others Are Not

Of course, for those that are working hard, these slackers are presenting a tremendous opportunity.  In tough times, it is those with discipline that will thrive.

Here are some tips on hustling when others are slacking:

  • Always Be Hustling – If you work hard when others are not, you will get ahead. Work when others are taking half days on Fridays, and you will have 2 full extra work days a month.  That becomes 26 extra days a year.  What could you do with that much of a lead over your competition?
  • Work When others are Not – When others are not working is a great time to get things done.  With less interruptions and distractions, it is easier to increase your productivity and stay on task.
  • Finish Early – Many take off Fridays even when their work is not done.  And if today’s obligations are done, what can you get done early?  Finishing ahead of schedule has tremendous advantages.
  • It Is About Hard work – Hate to break it to you, but there is no 4-hour work week. Success comes from one thing: hard work.

So, before you join the skipping out crowd, think about what you could be getting done.  Or better yet, think about how much further ahead and closer to your goals you could be.

Is Half Day Friday an issue at your company?  Do you work hard on Fridays?

Related Posts:

No Meeting Friday!

Why Don’t You Finish Early?

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6 thoughts on “What’s With Half Day Friday?

  1. I will sometimes leave early on Friday if:

    1) I have finished all important work that needed to be done that week.
    2) If everyone else is gone, including the boss.

    Fridays usually aren't very productive for me for precisely the reason you state. Many people leave early. I manage a lot of projects and work on a team, so many times my work depends on the work of others.

  2. I think this may also be a summer thing–I know many businesses have summer hours. Of course, when I was at the symphony, summer was our busiest time! I felt like I never got time off. I tend to wind down on Friday afternoons, but I also work most of the day on Sunday, because it's quiet and I can get a lot done to prep for the week. But, as a solo business owner, I have a bit of flexibility. And I try to use any perceived “down time” as a chance to get ahead. For example, July is very slow in the PR/communications world, but I use it as a great time to build relationships with reporters/producer/bloggers who ARE around and to also work on strategy/long term planning for clients.

  3. I agree that when your competitors are not working is a GREAT time to get ahead. Sometimes the summer or holiday times can be great times to accelerate your business.

  4. I'm most productive in the mornings, so I get the majority of my work done before noon. I don't feel that quitting for the day early is a bad thing necessarily, but only if you've completed the work for the day. I will work late, beyond regular quitting time, if needed or something comes up.