City based consultancy Byrne Dean recently announced  the introduction of a two week shutdown period during August.

Flexible working arrangements are part of Byrne Dean’s DNA.  They have made it their business to teach traditional City bastions and other global corporates the benefits of offering employees some kind of autonomy over when and how they do their work. Nevertheless, a summer shutdown period does seem quite radical compared to closing the office for a few days between Christmas and New Year.

As someone who has taken the entire month of August off since turning freelance in 2015, I can provide assurance that a summer shutdown period could be entirely plausible for some service-based SMEs who witness a significant slowdown during the height of the summer. Not one client has ever complained about the lack of service during August and I can vouch for the benefits; I return in September with renewed enthusiasm having had a chance to properly unwind.

While a summer shutdown policy is probably only going to work for smaller businesses, Byrne Dean’s announcement is a reminder that employers who embrace flexible working arrangements are reaping the rewards simply because a happy workplace is a more productive one. 

Employers also need to be mindful that millennials and generation Z are more discerning than previous generations when it comes to career choices. Work-life balance is a priority and businesses that fail to offer flexible working arrangements or lack the confidence to introduce them, will eventually lose their competitive advantage as the best talent looks elsewhere.