Isn't it a little harder to be productive in the office when the weather's so nice outside?

Morning sun light effect 3 o'clock
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A new survey from staffing firm OfficeTeam, a division of Robert Half, takes a look at the top perks employees would prefer during the summer months, and whether their bosses are willing to budge.

In the survey of more than 380 U.S. workers and hundreds of human resources managers, nearly 40 percent of employees said they're most interested in flexible schedules — the ability to set their own start and end times for the day — this time of year.

The second-most desired summer perk — being allowed to leave early on Fridays.

And it appears companies are listening. More than 60 percent of HR managers said flexible schedules are offered as a summer benefit to employees. Twenty-nine percent cited a more relaxed dress code and 20 percent said employees can leave early on Fridays.

All of those percentages are down since the same question was asked five years ago, but OfficeTeam's Dora Onyschak in Woodbridge said this could be due to more companies offering such perks year-round.

"A lot of companies today can’t necessarily offer monetary rewards, but they can offer things like this flexible schedule as an alternative to that," Onyschak told New Jersey 101.5.

Onyschak suggested such benefits can increase morale, retention and productivity. And most don't affect a company's bottom line.

"These benefits are often appreciated by employees who work hard all year round and use these perks to enjoy warmer weather and spend more time with their families," said Michele Siekerka, president and CEO of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association. "The decision to offer these types of benefits is typically based upon the needs of each individual business and may vary workplace to workplace."

More than a third of HR managers surveyed feel workers are less productive during the summer months. The poor behaviors they cite most are poorly-planned vacations and unexpected absences.

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