Kellogg’s is letting workers clock off at 12 p.m. on Fridays—but only if they make up the hours during the week

Summer Fridays have evolved into a cherished tradition, reminiscent of the 1960s advertising industry in New York, where executives would leave early for weekend getaways to the Hamptons. This notion has not only endured but has expanded across various industries and geographies. Companies like L’Oréal, Asos, and Nike have incorporated similar policies, signaling a broader shift towards flexible work schedules.

#### Kellanova's Summer Fridays Initiative

At Kellanova, the corporate umbrella under which Kellogg’s and Pringles operate, a notable summer policy has been reintroduced for its U.K. staff. From now until September, employees at their MediaCityUK office in Salford can leave at 12 p.m. on Fridays. This decision is anchored in research suggesting that two-thirds of employees would work more diligently during the week if they could enjoy extended weekends.

#### Productivity and Work-Life Balance

The decision also considers the typical productivity dip on Fridays, corroborated by studies like those from Texas A&M University's School of Public Health. To balance the early weekend starts, Kellanova requires staff to compensate by working longer hours from Monday to Thursday. Additionally, the company has enforced a no-meetings policy on Friday afternoons since 2021 to facilitate this early leave.

#### The Larger Implications of a Shortened Work Week

The concept of shorter work weeks is gaining traction globally. The "100:80:100" model, which proposes a 100% salary for 80% of the traditional work hours in return for maintaining 100% productivity, is showing promise in various pilot programs worldwide. This shift recognizes the changing dynamics of productivity and employee well-being.

#### The Uncertain Fridays

As remote work becomes more established, particularly post-pandemic, many firms now treat Fridays as unofficial work-from-home days. This shift has deflated the importance of Fridays to the extent that scheduling meetings or expecting prompt email replies on this day has become increasingly challenging. Noteworthy figures like Michael Bloomberg have critiqued the drop in Friday productivity, observing that remote workers often use this day for leisure activities like golf.

With these trends, Fridays are undergoing a transformation in the corporate world. While some companies view it as a day to catch up on administrative tasks quietly, others are moving towards a more radical approach by effectively eliminating Friday as a conventional workday. This evolution reflects a deeper reassessment of work, productivity, and employee satisfaction in today’s society.  

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