Employees doing the same thing eight hours a day, five days a week, could lead to burnout. Allowing employees to work on sponsored side projects on company time can benefit both the staff and the company as long as it does not interfere with employees’ workflow.
A side project allows workers to feel valued by expressing their creative energy, learn new skills, apply those skills to their full-time jobs, and be a happy employee. Side projects can encourage innovation and the development of new technologies and tools.
Side projects are beneficial when the company allows its workforce to experiment with new technologies and use their creativity at the same time. You could have the best employees in the world, but if you ask them to do the same things over and over again, they may become less productive. Allowing your employees to be engaged in exciting new endeavors will open their minds to new ideas in ways that could benefit your business.
Side projects can serve as good recruiting tools. Who doesn’t want to work for a company that supports innovation and employee well-being? In fact, promising this freedom could help you bring in ambitious and inventive employees, which may be just the type that you’re looking for.
Side projects can often turn into real projects to benefit the company. There are several businesses today that started as mere projects. Many people want to dabble in new things but lack the resources to do it independently. When their employer, through company time and resources, supports them, they can transform a hobby into a valuable skill that they can use on the job.
Of course, you may not want to let your employees work on any old project. You can set parameters and help in the selection of projects, choosing things that pertain to your company mission. Side projects could be an investment in your company’s future. They could keep you from getting stagnant and focus you toward cutting-edge technologies. Who knows? What starts as a mere employee side project today could be the future of your business tomorrow.