Bad news for those waiting for summer hours to kick in: The Zweig HR Letter is reporting that architecture, engineering, and environmental consulting firms are cutting back on flex and vacation time. In fact, according to its By the Numbers survey, only 12 percent of firms plan to offer summer hours this year (typically defined as allowing employees to put in extra hours Monday through Thursday and take either a half day off every Friday or a full day off every other Friday during the summer months). On top of that, only seven percent say they will allow employees to take an unlimited amount of unearned vacation hours "on credit" to the firm.
The statement from ZweigWhite
: “Offering summer hours this year would send the wrong message to current employees, laid-off employees, and clients,” says Michelle Maynard, a consultant with ZweigWhite who specializes in human resources management. “Whether or not it’s the case, a summer hours policy paints the image of relaxation—not the hustle and drive that firms need from their employees right now to position them for success when the economy rebounds. Also, client responsiveness and service are more important than ever right now. As more firms fight for fewer projects, it’s imperative that they make themselves available to clients as much as possible.”