WASHINGTON – Even temps don’t always show up to work when the spring weather beckons.
“When the weather is nice, we don’t see as many people coming into our offices, because they’re not thinking about working, they’re thinking about playing,” said Nancy Burd, branch manager of Kelly Services in Columbia and Annapolis.
Around the state Friday, workers at parks, bars and driving ranges said spring fever was good for business, especially when the business crowd cuts out of work early on Friday afternoons.
“Friday afternoons are very popular,” said Bob Moore, owner of the Pasadena Golf Center.
WJLA weatherman Doug Hill said spring fever hits hard once it starts to warm up in the area. But even on a day like Friday, when the weather was “running cooler than normal,” people will get outdoors for the other perks of the season.
“The greening of Washington starts,” Hill said, adding that it is welcome “after months of looking at gray and brown twigs and sticks.”
“People are just psyched,” he said.
Hill said it was expected to be cool Friday night, but warm get progressively warmer, with highs in the 60s on Saturday and temperatures reaching the mid-70s and even the 80s next week.
And Maryland businesses are grateful for that.
Rico Rossi, general manager of Seacrets in Ocean City, said his bar is usually packed on Friday afternoons in the spring — usually with people who come straight from work to happy hour.
“They are like bears, they have been hibernating all winter and they want to come out,” Rossi said.
Francie Dalton, president of Dalton Alliances Inc. in Columbia, said that companies could benefit in the long run if they let workers have an occasional spring fever afternoon.
If the company can spare the manpower, giving employees a few hours off on a Friday can be a cheap way to reward them, said Dalton, whose consulting firm specializes in “management sciences.”
“It’s a benefit that does not cost the company cash,” she said, adding that the practice “can foster retention of good employees.”
But Dalton said it is also important for a company to have a formal policy so that there are some ground rules and to make sure that everyone gets an equal amount of time off. Only then will the shortened days be worthwhile, she said.
WRC-TV weatherman Bob Ryan said he thinks employers are usually understanding about employees leaving a little early on a sunny Friday because the work will get done at another time.
“They (employees) will probably make it up and stay at work on a cloudy, rainy day,” he said.
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