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Studies show that time-starved employees — including those in law firms — who have some control over their work schedules are more loyal, committed, innovative and satisfied on the job.

In fact, according to a study reported in Entrepreneur Magazine, 48 percent of workers said they would give up a day’s pay for an extra day off each week. For single, working parents, time off to contend with responsibilities outside of work themselves is especially welcome – and is often more motivating than money.

If you’re looking for ways to motivate your staff, but don’t want to use financial incentives, try using time off as a reward. Time off can be granted for hard work, longevity, helping the firm work more efficiently or just to let team members know they are appreciated. Consider turning some of these ideas into rewards at your firm.

  1. For hard-working employees:
    If your employees finish a task before the deadline — and provide the quality of work you expected — then allow them to take off the remaining time up to the deadline. Or, set goals early in the week and allow team members to take Friday afternoon off if they achieve their goals by noon. You’ll be amazed by how efficient they suddenly become.
    Some firms have a TGIF Club that allows participants to take one or two Fridays off per month if they produce results that meet or exceed firm expectations. Energize employees with an extra week’s paid vacation when the firm reaches a fixed goal (such as increased billings of a set amount).
  2. For employees who have been around the longest:
    Bump up vacation time in keeping with employee’s length of stay. Offer a three-month paid sabbatical after 10 years of service.
  3. For everyone:
    Grant a holiday off that is not on your list or increase personal wellness days. Shut down for one week at Christmas, with or without pay. Offer a half-day off with pay to employees who recommended a hire that makes it past the 90-day probationary period.

Whether it is a half-day off or a three-month sabbatical, being given extra time off is more valuable for your firm’s employees than you realize. Find out more about the types of alternative work options your staff may appreciate — if it increases their level of satisfaction with your firm and helps them stay focused on their goals, it will save you time in the long run.

Atticus, Inc.

This article was written by an Atticus staff member.

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