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  • Writer's picturePaulina Crum

Looking Back on Fall Fridays

Updated: Dec 21, 2021

Fall Friday’s Beginnings

At Big Sky Public Relations, we actively and intentionally create a work environment that supports our employees and organizational culture. We believe in balance. For our team, excellent work results can exist alongside sustainable employee wellness. This tenet of our organization manifests itself in our recently established Fall Friday program.

You have likely heard of Summer Fridays, as it is becoming more common for organizations to adopt this policy during the summer season. Big Sky Public Relations piloted a Summer Friday program this year, but our team decided to extend this wellness program beyond the seasonal limitations of summer.

As summer came to a close, Courtenay Sprunger, CEO, and Katie Klietz, CXO, reviewed the Summer Friday program and asked for team feedback. Our team’s response to the Summer Friday program was overwhelmingly positive, citing the ability to maintain a better work-life balance. After a thorough discussion as a team, Fall Fridays were instituted. As the fall season has come to an end, Big Sky Public Relations discovered similar success and employee wellness with this program.

So how do our Summer Friday and Fall Friday programs work, especially when it comes to maintaining strong work results? During our Friday programs, a team member can take their Friday off as a result of agreeing to work four 10-hour shifts. To make this work for all team members, we assigned our employees into groups that would alternate which weeks they would work five eight hour shifts and four 10-hour shifts. Similar to our Summer Friday program, the Fall Friday format maintained productivity and even increased for some.

A Day in Life: Fall Friday Edition

Each of our team members spent their Fall Fridays in ways that best created their own version of work-life balance and wellness.

For our Graphic Designer, Amy Yatsuk, Fall Fridays meant an extra day to catch up on life. Yatsuk shared that “the Fall Friday program allowed me an extra day to catch up on chores and other responsibilities so I’m free to fully disconnect on the weekend.”

Amy Aiello, one of our Account Executives, took a similar approach to accomplishing chores, with a dash of rest and relaxation. Aiello described her Fall Fridays best saying, “I found myself really enjoying the simple things in life during my fall Fridays. The majority of my fall Fridays were spent sleeping in, cuddling my dog, reading the newspaper over a warm cup of coffee, tidying up, going on long walks around the neighborhood, and doing the little projects around the house that I seem to never have time for after work or on the weekends.”

For others, Fall Fridays were a chance to celebrate and take on new adventures.

BSPR’s Account Manager, Takami Clark, shares “one of my Fall Fridays fell around my birthday, so I was able to celebrate my birthday over a long weekend!” She also used it as an opportunity to see more of Montana, saying “I rented a place in Red Lodge and ended up hiking, visiting the animal sanctuary, and visiting a few nearby state parks. It was so fun and relaxing!”

One of our team members who had one of the most exciting Fall Fridays was Kaitlin Byrnes, BSPR’s media coordinator. Byrnes recounts, “in October, I was able to maximize my weekend and go to EDC in Las Vegas. It was a last-minute decision that I do not regret. I had an absolute blast!”

Team members like Olivia Simas, our Creative Coordinator, found ways to fit in a variety of valuable experiences into a Fall Friday. Simas recalls her favorite Fall Friday exploring the area in and around Livingston and Bozeman, saying “My boyfriend and I stayed in the Murray Hotel which has been on my bucket list— it was one of Anthony Bourdain's favorite hotels in the world! We enjoyed good food, good hot springs and even explored the Lewis and Clark Caverns while we were in the area. It was one of the best weekends I've had in a while!”

Regardless of the approach, each team member walked away from Fall Fridays with improved wellness, which has created positive impacts inside and outside of work hours.

The Future of BSPR Work-Life Balance

Big Sky Public Relations consistently demonstrates a commitment to employee wellness. Our leadership is attentive to new organizational culture trends and ways to innovate within our own company culture. We manage to drive the best results for clients by fostering employee wellness through simple adaptations like Fall Fridays to ensure that results are sustainable rather than burnt out over time.

We will have more wellness programs worth sharing in the future, beyond Summer Fridays and Fall Fridays, so check back in regularly with our social media and blog channels to see what is next.

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