About 50 years ago, after ad agencies in New York discovered that Friday productivity during the sunny summer months was almost zero, many of them instituted “Summer Fridays” that would give employees long weekends.

The idea soon caught on in other industries, but a new poll reveals that even people who can take Fridays off are often too overworked to do so.

As part of its new ad campaign called ‘Find Balance. Find Ultimat,’ Ultimat vodka commissioned a survey of 1,200 employed adults of legal drinking age to find out how an extra day or half-day off during the summer helps their morale, productivity, and overall work/life balance.

The poll found that among people whose companies offer the perk, 87 percent said it contributes to a healthy work/life balance. But ironically, almost half those people often forfeit their Summer Fridays because their workload is too heavy to take the extra time off.

Among those whose companies don’t offer Summer Fridays, three-quarters said it would boost morale and help them find balance between their work and personal lives.

And overall, 76 percent of the survey respondents agreed Summer Friday policies are an effective tool for increasing productivity.

“Employers take note,” says Jennifer Long, brand director at Patron Spirits, which owns and markets Ultimat vodka. “Our survey clearly indicates that if you offer people the ability to take a Summer Friday, they’ll be happier and actually more productive during working hours.”

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