By DebbieH 18 Jan 2021 6 min read

The real black Friday: Why everyone needs Fridays off


Modern working professionals know all too well that there’s more to job compensation than a simple salary. Many people in the aviation industry and beyond look for additional company perks when seeking new jobs, and some consider these perks a must-have feature of any position they’re willing to consider.

One of the biggest and most appealing incentives for today’s workers to sign up with a new company is a paid Fridays-off system—and it isn’t hard to understand why. Just think what you could do with an extra day’s worth of weekend paid at your regular rate!

Interestingly, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that giving employees Fridays off is beneficial for workers and companies alike in numerous key ways. This pertains particularly to high-risk and high-stress industries like aviation, where workers need to be at the top of their game at all times.



The Demands of Working in Aviation

If you’re already part of the aviation sector, there’s no need to tell you how demanding this line of work can be. Being a part of the industry can also be very rewarding, especially considering the more luxurious facets of the job. However, many workers find their mental and physical health being strained over time, and need to keep the risks posed to aircraft crews and pilots in mind.

Travelling in the air for extended periods of time can increase your risk of many health complications and puts notable strain on your body. Changes in barometric pressure and dry cabin air can lead to respiratory and circulatory issues, along with lesser problems like chronic dehydration.

Additionally, the combination of physical and mental stressors created by regular flying can disturb your sleep cycles, your digestion and more, leading to potentially concerning impacts on your health in the long run.

These are a few of the key risks associated with aviation jobs:

  • Exposure to environmental stressors. Aviation professionals are exposed to higher levels of ionizing radiation than other workers, which can cause physical stress over time. They also come into contact with hazardous chemical pollutants such as jet fuel combustion products on a regular basis.
  • Increased psychological stress. A loss of sleep and the disruption of workers’ circadian rhythms can impair their immune systems, making them susceptible to certain diseases. Many also suffer from insomnia after working long shifts without adequate rest. Frequently crossing borders exposes aviation professionals to a range of new and unexpected pathogens against which they may not have immunity.
  • Exposure to cosmic radiation. Cosmic radiation can cause a unique set of health issues for aviation workers as they experience far greater exposure to cosmic rays in the air.
  • Exposure to biological stress factors. Minor health issues like food poisoning and flu are common on board aircrafts, and can quickly be transmitted across an entire crew. Aviation professionals need to follow a healthy diet and exercise regime to keep their immune systems functioning optimally.



The Importance of Sufficient Time Off

It’s clear to see that working in aviation poses several unique challenges and health risks. This is why it’s particularly important for professionals in the field to be granted adequate time to rest, rejuvenate, and keep their health in check. An extra day off each week could offset some of the many physical challenges associated with the job.

Even if you’re a marshal, a landing signal officer, or simply an aviation office worker, you’ll be under pressure to ensure that your business runs as smoothly as possible for the safety of all involved. Being granted Fridays off would allow all aviation workers to perform at their peak during their days on the job, while making it easier to balance their demanding work lives with their personal lives too.



Improving Aviation Company Culture

Many aviation workers believe that token perks and casual days don’t necessarily make up for what they want from their compensation packages. Of course, such perks can work to boost a company’s culture and establish a certain ambience around the office, but they don’t help to keep workers happy and their health prioritized.

At the end of the day, offering workers a three-day weekend is a concrete offer that could have a positive impact on their lives and their work performance. Such a policy could reduce stress among a firm’s workforce, foster respect for upper management, and ensure that staff members feel that their contributions are truly valued.

Additionally, aviation companies could give themselves a significant upper hand in the hiring market by offering a four-day week alongside excellent health insurance and retirement annuities. For those just entering the job market, or anyone with years of experience, perks are always important. And an extra weekday off is hugely appealing.



Retaining Good Aviation Workers

Most savvy aviation companies are looking for ways to ensure that both their staff members and their profit margins benefit from any policies they have in place. Giving workers Fridays off could benefit employers by keeping their employees satisfied, which would mean fewer missed workdays, lower staff turnover, and higher commitment rates to meeting company goals.

Research clearly shows that when employees feel that their needs for benefits have been met, they are more productive and willing to go the extra mile for their employers. Employers who aim to keep their workers satisfied and productive should thus consider implementing new policies—like Fridays off—to see if they can address some of their workers’ needs without compromising their bottom lines.

Many companies have done so successfully, such as the World Wildlife Foundation, which gives its workers every other Friday off on full pay. The impact of these policies can be massive in terms of worker productivity, engagement and overall satisfaction.

Moreover, they communicate an essential message to workers in every industry: that they have autonomy in their positions, are trusted to do their jobs well, and that their wellness and physical and mental health are indeed valued.


Written by Lee Anna Carrillo