The Culture and Tradition Lives on for VI's Friday Work Environment

Author: Larry McAlister
Posted: Aug 18, 2016

Topics: Culture

Back in the 1960s, advertising agencies in New York began noticing a dip in employee productivity on Fridays during the summer months when the hot summer sun caused people to shift into weekend mode before the workweek was over.

Summer Fridays were born.


The practice spread to ad agencies all over the country, and eventually to other industries that could see the great benefits of putting in a full week’s work in four, to four-and-a-half days.

Summer Fridays are a tradition at VI.

An early adopter, Summer Fridays at VI fit into a corporate culture with roots based in communication, collaboration, respect, accountability and trust. Those pillars allow for a working environment where, to a person – people like coming to the office every day.

That environment includes an open, active office (there are only six offices with doors – and they are all glass) where you can work wherever you feel comfortable: in lounges and casual seating areas, in the standup work areas, in the park across the street, from home, or even at your desk.

The environment includes benefits beyond the benefits. We throw lots of parties: for our community, for our clients and partners, for ourselves. We work and play in downtown and beyond through participating, volunteering or competing in everything from the litter blitz, to the arts festival to the pacesetter games to our beloved VI Kings softball and soccer squads. You can actually buy vacation days through donations to our charitable causes.

The environment includes flexible work schedules that are built around an 8:30-5:30 workday but are by no means bound by it. In the marketing world, with 2016 lifestyles, a punch-the-clock mentality is antiquated. Summer Fridays however, have stood the test of time.

Studies have shown that productivity actually increases during Summer Fridays, but that isn’t why VI continues the tradition.

“Everything we do is about creating the optimum work-life balance,” said VI chief Tim Berney. “Hey, who doesn’t like to kickoff the weekend early? We have great trust in our team that when they knockoff early on a Friday afternoon, work is done and clients are happy.”

And that make us happy, ask anyone – just not on Friday afternoon!

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