Guest post: One fun day

Way Out

I’m currently working to finish the first draft of my second book. In the mean time, please enjoy this guest post by Karl Staib.

One free paid day

Small companies are best positioned to offer the “one free paid fun day” perk. Let’s say you have ten employees and they receive three weeks off a year and they make an average of $45,000. You can add an extra day off and spending cash of $50 to each employee. This is a minimal investment of time-off and money for the amount of return received.

This investment will pay dividends because your company is willing to do more than the minimum to make its employees happy. When you give back to your employees they will give back to you. It’s what humans do. Smile at to someone and see if they can resist smiling back at you. They usually can’t because they understand the social cues that make a successful society.

The society that your company creates will determine the quality of work your company will get out of the staff. Let’s break down the numbers to see how realistic it is to implement the “one free paid fun day” perk.


If you do give your employees one extra day off each year you’ll be adding 4.76% to their percentage of time off given, if they receive three weeks a year. Let’s say they average 250 working days a year; the company is giving up 0.40% of a working year. That’s less than half of 1%. It’s not a lot of time if you look at it over the whole year.


If you pay them $50 to go and have fun for that day you are only increasing their pay by 10% of 1%. It would only be 0.11% if they averaged a $45,000 salary in a year. That’s not much when viewed at from a whole year’s wages.


The big picture is most important. What will happen if your company gives a “one free paid fun day?” Your employees will tell their families and friends and they will probably inquire if there are any openings. Everyone likes working at a place where other people also want to work. There is a reason why good companies keep bringing in quality talent. They make sure that the employees’ friends know about the great perks of the company. If 60% of new hires are referrals, it means most of the hiring comes from friends and co-worker suggestions and this happens because the company is making sure that the work environment stays enjoyable.

Happy employees, as we all know, perform better. Giving a perk that doesn’t require much money or effort can separate you from the rest of your competition. Every company wants their good reputation to spread throughout the industry through word of mouth.

Here’s the Kicker

Each employee must give you a short report, no more than 300 words, about what they did. This is so you can learn more about your employees and what makes them happy. If they took their kids to the local amusement park then you may be able to raffle off free tickets at the company Christmas party. If they volunteered at the local recycling center then you may want to send out a survey to implement more green tactics. You may also want to put them in charge of saving the environment and the company money by conserving and recycling.

People want to work for a company that they feel has good values; they want to feel proud to tell people about where they work. I would imagine that not many people are proud to work for Phillip Morris, not because it’s a bad work environment, but because of the damage that cigarettes do to people’s lives.

Employees at Google wear their Google gear with pride. Friends are always asking them what it’s like to work there and if they can get them a job. Google works hard at work happiness because they understand the long-term effects that it has on the company’s bottom line.

It’s up to your company to figure out a plan that will have your employees telling their friends about the great company that they work at. You should start small. Implementing a “one free paid fun day” is a great way to learn more about the staff and separate yourself from the competition.

Do you think your company would ever implement a “one free paid fun day?”

Karl Staib writes about unlocking and kicking open the door to working happy at his own blog Work Happy Now! If you enjoyed this article, you may like to subscribe to his feed or read one of his most popular articles, The Five Most Important Things You Need to Know About Working Happy and 7 Tips to Process Your Stress Faster.

14 thoughts on “Guest post: One fun day”

  1. I love this idea! One day “when I grow up” and run my own company, I’m definitely implementing this concept. The report is a great twist, it give employers insight to what makes the employees happy. Awesome post!

  2. Thanks for letting me guest post on this great blog!

    Richard had a great idea – give a day off on the Birthday. Everyone wants their special day off, why not make it a company perk.

  3. I like this idea, but the only hitch I see is the written report. I think employees may resent it, feeling like kids having to report about a field trip. And what if all they did was sleep late goof off all day? Would they admit that or feel like they had to justify the time off by making something up? A gift should be a gift…no strings attached.
    Anita Bruzzese

  4. Anita, I disagree with you and personally think that the report is the best part. Learning something about individuals simply by giving them a gift is a great idea. Wouldn’t you trade a day off to report on what you did? I sure would. In fact, I’d do it EVERY day.

    We’ve had some time off with our company to celebrate project completion or other big events but we generally have picked something fun to do together as a team. Go rent some space to play sports, archery, go carting, whatever people are interested in. That can be a great way to fuel further team building and may be easier to justify the cost of doing it!

    Great post, love the ideas in this!

  5. I own a small company that does graphic design. Some of you know that there are days when you can’t do anything in this bussines. Either no ideas or the client is late or whatever, just happens.
    Yesterday, before I even read this post i took a day off for me. Decided to take my wife, my kid, my co-worker and his girlfriend to a lake that’s 50km away from the city. We had a gread morning. Took off at 9.30 and got back at 16.00. The plan was to be there for only couple of hours, but the weather was great and we took the whole day. The cost? 20 eur for the coffes, and another 20 the gas and payroll. If you compare those 40 eur and if you see em as a cost and show em in percantages, you should not even think of a day like this. The equation is simple, put a day with the fam and friends, show yor coworkers their are part of your life and make everyone around your weekday life happy on one hand, or just another boring day closed at the office on the other.
    Today we are both so happy and the day started great at the office. I plan to make such trips on a regular base every 3-4 months, depends on the weather and on the mood.

    P.S. Anita, it’s only 10 minutes to fill in that report, and in return the emplyee will get more joytime.

  6. The book, The Artist’s Way, says to take off a day and just do something and go somewhere out of your ordinary routine. For example, a script writer went to the acquarium and ended up setting the key scene at the zoo, complete with fish tanks being shot and screaming crowds. I think this is a good idea to grow innovation but would encourage the report back asking that it be given in an interesting way – youtube or photo slide show or even one AHA! It would teach the employees how to pull innovation out and they would learn from each other’s presentation styles. Employees do need to be given permission to have fun and not keep up their bank employee persona and feel safe to be goofy and laugh.
    I send employees to speeches, dinners, conferences and seminars but should get them to give report back. Thanks for the idea.

  7. It’s a very interesting idea, a relatively inexpensive way to give your employees a nice perk (although many companies already give their employees a limited number of personal days in addition to their vacation time). But I agree with Anita–the “short report” is a deal killer. It’s none of the boss’s business what the employees do with their day off and the homework assignment will be resented as an intrusion of their privacy.

  8. Will we ever implement this idea?
    Answer involves pigs and flying.
    Our CEO isn’t even happy with giving us the chance to wear jeans to work. This annoys me, and I only wear jeans when I am doing stuff that might ruin slacks.

    But I love the idea.

  9. What a great idea! Definitely a good way to improve employee morale.

    I just think it’s funny that they make you file a report about what you did on your “fun day” off. I’m sure people leave A LOT of important details off of this report most of the time. LOL.

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