8 reasons everyone in your office should leave work early today
Did you know today, Monday 3 June, is Leave Work Early Day? And while this may be pushing the limits of valid reasons for a national day, we’re not complaining about this one.
Naturally, plenty of UK employees will jump at the chance to leave the office before 5pm. However, there are always those diligent workaholics out there who may prefer to soldier on until the close of play.
That’s why we’ve put together some extremely convincing reasons to justify letting your whole team leave work early today. You can tell them to thank us later (because we’re off!)
1. UK employees crave flexible working
Research by Jobsite a few years ago revealed that 66% of the UK workforce would love to adopt a flexible working schedule, given the opportunity by their employers. It’s easy for business owners to view this as a mass attempt to skive off, but the benefits of flexible working to businesses are well-documented.
By allowing your staff to leave work early today, you are sure to see a huge boost in team morale and therefore productivity.
Letting your team leave the office early may well give you a glimpse of the considerable benefits of implementing a more flexible approach to working hours, leading you to explore the advantages of flexi-time, working from home and other flexible working solutions that could soon have an extremely positive impact on your business.
2. Engaged employees work harder
A study carried out by Towers Watson revealed that employees who are engaged in their work in a positive manner are twice as likely to be present and productive in their work.
So if you knew there was a way to make your team suddenly twice as productive, surely it would be a no-brainer?
Leaving work early is an easy way to inspire positivity, loyalty and engagement among your employees, which can only be a great thing for your business.
3. It doesn’t cost you anything
Realistically, how much work do you expect to be accomplished in the final hour or two of the working day? We all hit our hardworking mojo at different times of the day, but the likelihood is that 3pm – 5pm is not the most productive period of the day for any office worker.
With that in mind, do you really think letting everyone in the office leave early will have a detrimental impact on your bottom line?
We all look to companies like Google admiringly for their weird and wonderful workplaces boasting slides, happy hours and napping rooms, yet despite the obvious benefits, many businesses lack the funds to implement these measures into their own offices.
The great thing about letting your staff leave the office early is it costs you (virtually) nothing, so it can only have a positive effect. Plus, you can even save money on your energy bills by switching everything off early for the day!
4. Most of us work longer hours than we are paid for
Hands up who is guilty of checking emails in the evening, or sneaking onto hotel WiFi on holiday to keep on top of the inbox?
The fact is, most UK employees work more hours than they are paid for when you factor in missed lunch breaks, out-of-hours emails and logging off late to finish off that final job of the day. Consequently, business owners are already getting more out of their staff than they are contracted to do.
When you consider this, an early finish suddenly doesn’t seem like such a big deal, does it?
Rewarding your staff for their loyalty and commitment can go a long way towards creating, or maintaining, those positive vibes well into the next working week.
5. An early finish prevents burn-out
Mental health is an enormous topic in today’s business landscape, and ensuring employees are healthy and happy is a huge priority for business owners.
There are many dangers of working too hard, or “burning out”, including stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia and chronic fatigue.
The World Health Organization has named stress as the “health epidemic of the 21st century”, and an incredible 74% of UK adults claimed to have experienced stress. And not only does stress have a devastating impact on individuals’ mental health, but it also costs businesses money. In 2012, 10.4 million working days were lost as a result of stress, costing the UK economy an estimated £6,427,200,000.
Can your business really afford to have a burned out workforce?
We’re not suggesting for a moment that leaving the office early once in a while can prevent burnout or eradicate stress in the workplace, but it can certainly play a small role in cultivating your employees’ wellbeing and encouraging them to switch off and unwind.
6. We all need a good work-life balance
The famous work-life balance. Can you honestly say you have achieved it? And if so, do you actively encourage your staff to strive for the same?
Research shows that here in the UK, we work longer hours, take shorter lunch breaks and book fewer days off than people in Europe.
These facts suggest that we are failing to devote as much time as we should to our lives outside of work. In short, we are failing to nail the work-life balance.
Relationships with our partners, children, family and friends all require nurturing to ensure they remain a mutually positive force in our lives, and it can be damaging to take these relationships for granted.
What’s more, spending time with loved ones can be an enriching experience which helps to recharge our batteries. Equally, if you are someone who craves your own company and needs a certain amount of solitude to nourish and energise you ready for the working week, this cannot be achieved without investing time.
To help everyone achieve a better work-life balance, why not give your staff permission to leave work early today and devote their afternoon to themselves and their loved ones? After all, you’re sure to all return to work with renewed vigour.
7. Business owners can’t expect their staff to care as much as they do
Look, we all hope to have an engaged and hardworking team, and hopefully you have achieved that in your own business. However, do you really expect your staff to care quite as much as you do about the future success of your business?
The likelihood is, if you have a great team then they will be giving your business their all during working hours, but they will have their own priorities and lives outside of the office. When you encourage your staff to leave the office early – even if you are not doing so yourself – you are giving them permission to value their free time, thanking them for their hard work and acknowledging that they are not there to give up their life for your business.
Just make sure you follow their lead once in a while - because you know what they say about all work and no play, right?
8. We all waste time at work
Wasting time at work is seemingly inevitable, and the average employee admits to wasting an incredible three hours a day (outside of scheduled breaks!).
It has even been reported that 65% of YouTube viewers tune into videos between the hours of 9am and 5pm on weekdays.
And while these stats may seem high, when you factor in office chatter, tea breaks, surfing the web and simply zoning out periodically, it can easily add up.
Business owners simply cannot expect to achieve eight hours of pure concentration mode from each employee, but there are many ways we can increase productivity in the workplace.
It may seem counterproductive, but an easy way to boost your business’s productivity is by inviting your staff to leave work early. If your team has a certain number of tasks to achieve by the time they leave for the day, this will spur them into action to finish their work in order to clock off earlier. The gratitude your staff will feel after an early finish will also heighten team morale, making employees less likely to slack off the following day.
Celebrate Leave Work Early Day 2019
So, the results are in: everyone in your office should get an early finish to honour Leave Work Early Day 2019. Will your business be taking part? And how early is too early?
We would love to hear your thoughts on how Leave Work Early Day is celebrated in your office (if at all).
Share your thoughts with us on social media – or tag your boss to give them a nudge!