company culture

New 'summer hours' benefit offers team members additional time, flexibility

Lara Pilny, UX designer, used summer hours for fun activities with her kids (pictured, kayaking the Mohican River near their home in Ohio). “Working full-time, I'm not able to take them to do daytime activities in the summer, so they really enjoy our Fridays.”

This summer, Continued piloted “summer hours” by offering Friday afternoons off between the Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays. 

During this period, adjustments were made company-wide to ensure team members could take advantage of half-day Fridays and enjoy slightly longer weekends. 

“We believe that a healthy work-life balance is critical to the success of our company culture,” said HR Director Asher Primrose. “We appreciate our team members as people first, and we want them to have time to do things they enjoy outside of work.” 

We asked our team members how they spent their summer hours and what the additional time meant to them. Here’s what some of them had to say!

Instructional Technology Specialist Caitlin Grefe saved on childcare costs by having Friday afternoons off this summer. She spent the time with her kids and often ran errands when stores were less busy. “It makes the weekend feel so much longer and relaxing.”
♦ “We have found Friday afternoons so incredibly refreshing! We work Friday mornings, and the afternoons are for golfing, biking, kayaking and so much more. Those few hours have created many wonderful and restorative weekends and taken the stigma from Mondays!” — Kimberly Rojas, instructional technology coordinator

*Pictured above, Kimberly and her husband and daughter took advantage of summer hours to attend a hot air balloon festival near Taos, New Mexico.

♦ “Friday afternoons have been spent with friends or used for appointments and errands I would have normally had to squeeze into a workday. The best is when I mistakenly think Saturday is Sunday and then realize I have another day off!” — Lori Templeton, senior software developer engineer in test 

Copywriter Jordan Kuntz and CE Administration Director Joanne Slater used a Friday afternoon to connect outside of work. Jordan travels full time while living and working in a motorhome and was passing through Denver, where Joanne resides.
♦ “Summer hours have been such a game-changer for my physical and mental health! I've spent them biking and hiking or to head out early on camping trips. I have also used the extra time to visit my parents and grandparents a few hours away and make memories with them I otherwise would have missed.” — Emily Gherghel, lead learning & simulation developer-PT (Simucase)

♦ “Summer hours allowed for weekend trips to visit my daughter and new granddaughter!” — Clint Johnson, VP, Simucase education 

♦ “My stress level is noticeably lower thanks to this benefit. I have been able to knock out errands and cleaning on Friday afternoons so that I can relax and enjoy the weekend itself. My husband also has the same summer hours, which has allowed us an almost weekly lunch date to reconnect.” — Wendy Bradbury, VP, sales - career & educational services 

Summer hours allowed Kimberly Norris, CEU administrator, more time with her 90-year-old father. “I feel incredibly thankful for this fantastic benefit!”
♦ “I've used summer hours for appointments, social gatherings, home projects, and early departures for vacation or long weekends. But most of all, I've appreciated the sense of freedom that comes from knowing that I only have to work a half day on Friday. In a five-day week, I'm pretty sure that I'm facing diminishing returns for my efforts by Friday afternoon anyway.” — Joanne Slater, director, CE Administration

♦ “Summer hours helped me earn a huge check off my bucket list. I climbed my first 14er (a mountain peak exceeding 14,000 feet), and then I climbed two more! One challenge to climbing a 14er is that you have to be off the summit by noon. I used my Friday afternoons to pack my gear and get to bed early so that I could be up at 4:00 a.m. to drive to the mountains.” — Jordan Kuntz, copywriter

Simucase Managing Director Katie Ondo spent Friday afternoons with her kids (pictured on a hike in Cincinnati). “I have enjoyed the time this summer, as they are growing quickly and will be on adventures of their own soon.”
♦ “Having summer hours has made appointment scheduling so much easier, but more important, it’s helped me better balance my work and home life, to feel more capable of taking time for self-care, and to feel more energized and focused at work. It’s just four extra hours, but their dividends make them seem like far more.” — Bobbi L’Huillier, content quality specialist

♦ “Summer hours have allowed me to spend time with my husband, grandson, and other family members and enjoy swimming, boating, and family gatherings. We have made so many fun memories and have had a bit of lead time over the normal "weekenders" to beat some of the crowds.” — Debra Basler, accounts receivable specialist




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