Maybe it's the cold winters, but we Chicagoans sure do enjoy our summers. In fact, summers are such a big deal here that many employers have special policies in place to let their employees soak up just a little more of that precious sunlight.
To get the inside scoop on how summer policies pan out in Chicago tech, we reached out to some of the city's most exciting employers. Here's what they told us:
During the summer, GoHealth offers a flexible Friday schedule to let employees take advantage of the warmer weather. What better way is there to reward employees for their hard work during the week than to extend their weekends by a few hours?
“In Chicago, we wait all year for summer to arrive,” said SVP of Human Resources Mark Monitello. “At the end of the week, if great work has been done and goals have been achieved, we want our employees to know they deserve a few hours off.”
For its full-time employees, the company also offers unlimited vacation days all year-round, encouraging them to take advantage of the policy to rest up and regroup.
Three of the OfficeLuv team’s favorite things are summer, giving back to the community and spending time with each other. To that end, the company has a “Keep it Clean Friday”-policy where the team comes together to clean up a local park or establishment.
"We all look forward to 'Keep it Clean Fridays,'” said co-founder Chris Hartman. “It feels good to pitch in and help different communities across the city, all the while hanging out with the team and mastering our trade!"
Every other Friday between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Emmi shuts its doors at 1 p.m. for “Summer Fridays” to give employees a chance to enjoy the good weather and all the things Chicago has to offer. The company also puts on a number of events and outings throughout the season.
“Summer is the best time in Chicago, and we know that when the weather is finally nice and there is so much going on in the city, people want to get outside,” said CEO Devin Gross. “We believe providing flexibility inspires good work and positive attitudes, and allowing employees the opportunity to enjoy the summer enables them to re-energize and refocus. It’s a win-win for all of us.”
bswift likes to heat things up in the office with a variety of summertime policies and perks. From Memorial Day to Labor Day. its bFun committee holds a handful of summer-themed events like Smoothie Day, National Flip-Flop Day and an in-office picnic with a hot dog eating contest. Lots of bswifters also coordinate intramural co-ed sports teams to keep active and enjoy some time together outside the office. Teams also get rotating summer hours to get a jump start on the weekend and spend extra time with their families, enjoy the sunshine or make it to an earlier happy hour.
But one of the team's most highly anticipated summer treats is the Stumptown Coffee Roasters’ cold brew kegerator that’s brought into the office.
“One thing that’s certain is bswifters love coffee — and I’m no exception,” said CEO and President Kerry Sain.
Bounteous kicks off the summer by letting its employees dive deeper into what they love. In order to brush up on skills and have some fun along the way, the dev shop’s team partakes in an annual summer hackathon dubbed the Bounteous Hack. The two-day event gives employees an opportunity to meet new team members, recharge their batteries and, most importantly, have a blast.
“Last year, our team members collectively learned over 40 different new technologies, tools, and techniques, many of which were applied for client use,” said VP of Engineering Seth Dobbs. “I’m really looking forward to see what everyone learns this year!”
Although they don’t have any explicit summer policies, warm weather prods DevMynd’s employees to leverage some of the freedoms that they enjoy year-round, including short working hours, work from home Wednesdays, paid vacations and stipends for attending conferences for personal and professional growth.
“During summer, the DevMynd office takes full advantage of all that Bucktown has to offer. You'll find us in a group walking the 606 and admiring the dogs at the dog park while soaking up the sun,” said CTO Joe Hirn. “The warm weather also enables us to walk that extra distance to our favorite restaurants, normally out of reach during colder weather. The additional freedoms we encourage fosters creativity in the team, and the results are reflected in the positivity and graciousness we bring into our work.”
Havas offers its employees two summer days between Memorial Day and Labor Day that can be used in full- or half-day increments. The company also shuts its doors on the Friday before Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day, making each of the summer holidays a four day weekend.
In order to give employees additional flexibility during the summer months, eligible employees at Discover can take summer hours once a month during June, July and August, along with an additional “floating” day. With summer hours, employees work one extra hour per day for four days in a week, taking a morning or afternoon off during that same week.
“Discover offers a summer hours program in order to provide employees with additional flexibility during the busy summer season,” said Doug Rose, chief human resources officer. “Summer is the time of year when kids are out of school, families are planning vacations and everyone wants to enjoy the nice weather, so we like to provide additional options beyond working from home or at our downtown office, to accommodate our employee’s summer schedules.”
Images via participating companies.