Survey shows U.S. workers would rather have flexibility than paid days off

If there’s one thing pretty much anyone can agree on, it’s that working during the summer is the worst. The sun is shining, the temperature is warm and yet you’re stuck inside—maybe even without a window.

Obviously, working is overrated any time of the year, but there is something about nice weather that makes it even harder. But what if your job had “summer perks”? You know, special days or situations where you could enjoy summer just a bit more.

Monster was wondering, too, and recently asked nearly 2,000 people what summer perk would be most appealing at a job. Removing those who said “none of the above,” 16.68 percent said they would like “beach days,” described as days off in addition to regular paid time off. At 31.90 percent, Friday or Monday half-days came in second.

What could possibly be better than days off or half-days? Well, 42.71 percent of those surveyed simply want greater flexibility to work remotely. That’s right—they still want to work, just choose where to do it!

Considering half of Americans don’t even use all their paid vacation, these results aren’t all that surprising. One study in 2016 found most Americans don’t use three of the days they’re given, adding up to workers failing to take approximately 375 million paid vacation days per year.


Monster Career Expert Vicki Salemi believes there are multiple reasons flexibility is desired more than summertime half-days.

“For starters, half-days during the summer, while a fantastic perk, will inevitably end around Labor Day,” she said. “A more flexible schedule, not pegged to a Friday or a Monday, can be an excellent way to show your boss you can get your work done well regardless of your location. In turn, if you speak to your boss after the summer to show your effective work results of the flexible schedule, perhaps there’s an opportunity to extend it throughout the year—more convincing than an argument to extend half-day summer Fridays (or even Mondays).”

If your boss doesn’t offer any summer perks, Salemi says it’s still important to disconnect and take some time for yourself.

“Enjoy the summer! It’s fleeing and if your company doesn’t offer consistent perks, take well-deserved PTO (paid-time off) you’re entitled to instead of squandering it and leaving that valuable money (and time) on the table,” she said. “You are entitled to unplug—studies have shown we’re more productive as well as happier and healthier as a result.”

If you don’t have summer perks or PTO, there are some things you can try to make you happier at work all year round. The Balance recommends, among other things, doing something you love every day, asking for feedback and avoiding negativity.