Thursday, December 4, 2008

Four Ways Your Job Can Save You Time and Money

After opening my recent investment report, I decided that the thing should come equipped with a defibrillator and a tank of oxygen. That way I'd at least not hit the ground unprepared when I read how the *&%$ stock market has hit my portfolio.

I know I'm not alone. I know that everyone is looking for ways to tighten a belt, to trim costs. That's why I think we've got to be a bit creative to make our jobs pay off even more. I mean, the paycheck is nice, but for most of us it isn't going to grow a whole lot this year. It's time we all looked at ways that our workplace can add even more value.

First, think about your company's diversity. Everyone in your workplace is unique, with different talents and abilities. They each have something of value to offer, and so do you. The key is finding how you can help one another to not only save money, but time.

Second, be creative. Now is not the time to maintain the status quo, such as not communicating with other departments or making assumptions about other people. We're all in this together and the more ideas, the better.

Think about how to take care of a need in your life without spending more money, and how someone in your workplace can help you. Here are some ideas:

1. Sharing skills. There are a lot of younger workers who would love a good home-cooked meal, while a lot of older workers would love some computer instructions or a babysitter. So, an older worker provides a meal or two for the younger worker, in exchange for some teaching or babysitting time.

2. Sharing needs. Many workers are doing more home maintenance jobs themselves to save money. These tasks (painting, landscaping, putting up a fence) go much faster with more hands. Workers can band together and get these jobs done for one another. In the end, everyone gets work done with no labor costs. During the warmer months, you can offer to help tend a garden in return for some of the produce, or offer to plant a garden on a worker's available property and give them some of the produce.

3. Shopping savings. I often shop at Sam's Club because I have a family, but I know my single friends or empty nesters don't get as much value because truthfully, they can't begin to eat 12 avocados. But I can offer to sell them a portion of what I buy, or give it to them in exchange for something they have to offer -- like changing the oil in my car or housesitting for a weekend.

4. Saving time. Probably one of the greatest gifts to offer one another these days is time. Form a "lunch bunch" and take turns bringing in lunch, or even supper to take home. Form a group to take turns picking up dry cleaning from a nearby service and delivering it to individual cubicles. Offer to bake the cupcakes for a co-worker's upcoming event in exchange for her giving you a ride to work for a week.

There are endless possibilities for workers banding together to fill needs and help one another during these difficult times. Just remember to make it an equitable exchange -- participants should agree to the terms before committing and no one should be compelled to participate.

What are some other ways that workers could help one another?


Anonymous said...

These are some neat ideas. I especially like the idea of saving money on food because i'm not eating out these days because it just costs so much. Anything to cut the grocery bill every week would be great and I'm sure other people would think so to.

Anita said...

I know what you mean. I paid $14 for a chicken sandwich and a drink the other day. I could have bought three whole chickens for that! :)