July 4th is a federal holiday, so lots of businesses close. US law certainly doesn't require you to close your business, nor does it require you to pay your employees extra if they do work on the 4th, but most likely, your company considers it a holiday. This year, the 4th is on a Tuesday, so I'm going to make a radical proposal: Treat the 3rd like a holiday as well. Here's why:

An Awesome Four Day Weekend

Instead of having to work Monday, have Tuesday off, and then come in on Wednesday, your employees could have a great four day weekend. That allows people time to travel, relax, or get some summer yard work done. For those of us who throw awesome Independence Day Parties, having an extra day to do the work makes our parties even better.

What Productivity?

Let's face it, poor Monday is going to be all alone and people aren't going to get much done anyway. Lots of people--your staff, your clients, and your vendors--are going to be taking this as a vacation day anyway. Those that don't are going to be itching to get out of the office anyway. Declare it a holiday and you'll probably get about the same amount of work done, but your employees will love you.

Helps Make Your Culture Employee Centric

Let's be honest--there will be some customers who will be angry if you close for a non-holiday, but your employees won't be. Keeping the customer happy is critical, but keeping your employees happy is even more critical. Employees know you care about then when you think beyond what you're obligated to do and do what will make them happy. (And no, you're not legally obligated to shut down on July 4th, but there is a certain social pressure to do so.)

Does This Have to be Forever?

No, of course not. Next year, July 4th will be on a Wednesday, and do you really want to shut down two extra days? Probably not. (Although if you do, close Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday so that people can sleep in after staying up late for fireworks.) But, this year, it's just one extra day.

All or Nothing?

Another thing you can do is give people the option of taking a Monday as a vacation day without having to get prior approval or worrying about coverage. Your day can be super productive if all your co-workers are gone. It allows you to catch up. This solution also doesn't cost you much, as your employees are using their vacation days instead of a company paid holiday.

Published on: Jun 22, 2017