Business 9 Scheduling Benefits Employees Love — and Work Hard to Keep
It might seem counterintuitive, but many entrepreneurs are finding that being flexible — for example, by offering their team half days or an unlimited vacation policy — not only helps company morale, but increases the amount of work that gets done.
We asked nine entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) what specific benefits have helped their business thrive. Their answers are below, either for your inspiration — or if you’re employed, to provide a gentle nudge to your boss:
1. Easy Fridays
Rob Fulton I tend to go easier on Fridays, and my employees have come to expect this. I find that it works great, especially in transitioning into the weekend. I want all of my team to be well rested and to not return from the weekend knowing they’re going back into a harsh and inhospitable environment. However, I’m always evolving in my techniques and always listening for their feedback — if they informed me this no longer worked, I’d definitely try a different approach. I think you should lead with an open mind and never be stubborn in your ways.
– Rob Fulton, Exponential Black
2. No-meeting Wednesdays
It’s simple and is what it sounds like. Every Wednesday we have no meetings. No internal meetings. No external meetings. It’s the day to get out of everyone’s way and be highly focused on complex work without distraction. We find that having it in the middle of the week brings a lot of relief and balances build up before Wednesday and execution after. It’s undeniably everyone’s favorite day of the week, and productivity soars because we set high expectations for how much can be done.
– Mark Arnoldy, Possible
3. Work-from-home Thursdays
We all work remotely on Thursday. We have strict communication and deliverables guidelines, so productivity never takes a dip, and it’s a great way to break up the work week. Some work has to be done in the office, but some can be done pants-free in a warm bed. My team knows the difference and works together to prioritize their work accordingly. I have to admit, it took several months to learn how to lead a remote team (even for just one day), but it was totally worth the learning curve for all of us. Instead of the Friday dulls, I get a team of refreshed, energized employees.
– Maren Hogan, Red Branch Media
4. Work hard, play hard
At Priori, we instill a work hard, play hard mentality. Employees set their own hours, so long as they get their work done and are available when we need them. We find employees are most productive when their schedule works for them, rather than being confined to adult study hall.
– Basha Rubin, Priori Legal
5. Complete flexibility
Corey BlakeAs a virtual company, we offer complete flexibility so that our employees have the ability to put family first when they need to. As long as their work is getting done and they uphold our quality and communication standards, we support them taking great care of themselves. Because many of our staff are hourly, this also saves the company valuable resources — we are only expensed when work is being performed. This also means we live in a culture where trust has to be high and problems have to be sorted out quickly and with integrity so the virtual culture can thrive amid the flexibility. This approach has created a culture where team members cover each other, go out of their way and work overtime as needed because they love the work and our clients.
– Corey Blake, Round Table Companies
6. Unlimited PTO
Having an unlimited PTO policy broadcasts to everybody that they are trusted; especially that they’re trusted to manage their own schedule, productivity and contribution. Implementing an unlimited PTO policy has helped with productivity because it takes away managers and supervisors having to babysit. It also takes away a function of having to provide reporting around that babysitting from frontliners. That trust saves time and eliminates an activity that doesn’t produce anything for anyone.
– Dan Price, Gravity Payments
7. Summer Fridays
Mashwork employees are free to leave at 3 p.m. on Fridays between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Everyone returns relaxed and refreshed on Mondays after being able to enjoy the slightly longer summer weekend. Since summer Fridays are fairly common in the advertising industry, we don’t worry about falling too far behind since clients are out of the office, too.
– Jared Feldman, Mashwork
8. Short mental breaks
Sean MarszalekI always encourage employees take short mental breaks throughout the workday. A short walk, quick workout or a few minutes enjoying the fresh air often revitalizes their energy levels and ability to focus.
– Sean Marszalek, SDC Nutrition, Inc.
9. Make your own schedule
Simon CasutoMy employees know that as long as they get their work done and are meeting deadlines and expectations, then it isn’t necessary to be in the office from 9-5 everyday. Obviously they are expected to be punctual for meetings and to be in the office before noon, but if they aren’t morning people than it is perfectly fine to come into work at 11 a.m. I’ve found that if my employees aren’t stressing out about little things like being five minutes late, than they are more relaxed and therefore more creative in general.
– Simon Casuto, eLearning Mind
By Scott Gerber