A quarter (25%) of UK businesses think that by introducing an August or summer shut down would be cost-effective to the business throughout the year, new research reveals.
The study, from Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance, shows how 1 in 10 business owners believe that employees would be in favour of standardised holidays (such as the August shut down) than to keep their existing allocated holidays throughout the year.
A third (33%) of business owners also think that staff wellbeing would be improved if an August or summer shut down was introduce, and more than a quarter (28%) also believe that staff productivity would be improved .
Throughout summer this year, thousands of employees across Europe were not working, as retailers, factories and city offices temporarily closed or reduced business hours as part of what is called the ‘European August Shutdown’.
Many companies in France, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Spain and more have continued this working pattern, which first came about during The Industrial Revolution between 1820 and 1840, to ensure manufacturing production lines were as efficient as possible.
So, what if Britain were to adopt a similar practice? Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance discusses the potential benefits it could provide both employees and business owners if the UK was to replicate the August break.
Top five benefits of a summer shut down
- Higher levels of engagement
- Increased moral
- Extended holiday (parents are able to spend time with children due to school holidays)
- Attractive employee benefit
- Improve overall productivity
John Atkinson, head of commercial business at Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance, says:
“Many of our clients, in particular business owners who run small to medium sized manufacturing and logistics companies, often experience a number of problems during the August shut down period. This can be a result of their suppliers and main contacts abroad not being available and some may argue it makes sense for UK business to do the same for this reason. Although not as popular as it used to be, the ‘factory fortnight’ also still exists where manufacturing companies shut down to help improve capacity and to maintain machinery. For those who need to operate an always on-service, some allow this break for a percentage of their workforce annually.”
“In addition to this, the British heat wave has also proven extremely difficult for many people this year, and is important that business owners can try to relate to their employees during work at this time. It may be that your dress codes can become more relaxed during the hotter months, and although there is no legal guidance for a maximum temperature limit, it is important to provide clean and fresh air in the workplace.”