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happy friday + something new we’re trying…

Happy Friday + Something New We're Trying... / via Oh Joy!

Happy Friday + Something New We're Trying... / via Oh Joy!

2019 has been the year of refreshing and opening my eyes up to new things…both personally and professionally. I wrapped up a year-long session with my life coach, and I'm doing my best to break out of my workaholic tendencies (like go out for lunch on a work day more often!). I really emphasized to my team how much I want them to come along for the ride in continuing to think outside the box both in their jobs and their personal lives as well. We did an all-day brainstorming session a couple months ago to dive deep into new ideas, new ways of doing things, and what's next for Oh Joy. It was great to get everyone's feedback and have their involvement in part of that process.

Dramatic changes don't happen overnight, but just starting with ideas and conversations are the first step! There is one really fun thing that came to me that I've implemented here at Oh Joy! that I want to tell you about. While speaking at a conference for Hallmark a couple months ago, I learned about their My Five Days program in which they give their employees an additional 5 days off to learn something new. And then, I was chatting with a fellow speaker on the trip who says he gives his employees $500 a day to put towards a personal hobby or passion. As a small and self-funded company, it can be hard to offer a lot of perks because every dollar counts with the ebb and flow of the finances of a small business. But, I knew we needed something like this as a way to get the creative juices flowing…not just for all of our work at Oh Joy! but for ourselves, as people, which in turn always makes work better, too. I talk a lot in my Dream Team class about how these types of things are worth the investment because it's a way to bring joy to work which you can't always put a dollar sign on. 

Happy Friday + Something New We're Trying... / via Oh Joy!

So, I decided to implement what I am calling 3/300. It's basically a combo of the two examples I was inspired by. I'm giving my team 3 extra days off per year and $300 to focus on learning something new or reinvigorating a personal passion they have neglected. It can be 3 days in a row or three separate days. They must use the days and dollars within each year or they will lose them. You can't combine them with vacation or sick days, and they don't roll over from year to year. The only requirement is that they have to run the dates by me ahead of time (to make sure it works with our calendar), and they have to report back to the rest of the Oh Joy! team about what they did and what they learned.

We only recently started this, so everyone is still deciding what they are going to do, but it's been fun to hear what they are thinking about so far! For me, I want to do some sort of cooking class (or classes) so I can get better at making food for a larger group of people. I might also get my tennis game back with some lessons from a local coach! 

What do you think? Would you implement this if you had a company? Or, what would you do for your 3/300 if your boss implemented it where you work?

{Photo by Lily Glass. Written by Joy Cho. Mural by The Painted Line.}


  1. This is amazing!! What a fabulous way to show that you value your team as people and not just for what they can give you/your company. May ever boss and company everywhere read this!

  2. this is really great, joy! i work at a large financial services company (in NYC, no less) so a perk like this would likely never happen. being a mom of two young kids and having a demanding job (oh and a marriage, too!), i’m always yearning for those extra days off to just focus on and develop my hobbies (like photography). i try to use some of my one-off vacation days to do that, but they end up becoming days to run errands or cleaning. So having those extra days totally dedicated to cultivating outside interests/hobbies is wonderful. kudos to you for taking your role as a business owner seriously and thoughtfully!

  3. Thanks Grace! Yes, I understand how it can be harder for larger companies to implement but it’s often those companies that need it most!
    Hallmark is a great example of a large company that made it part of their culture and it continues to spread!

  4. Joy, this is a beautiful concept and gift and I think you will be repaid ten-fold in increased productivity, inspiration, and staff loyalty. I hope you’ll have each team member write a blog post about their adventures. And I hope other companies of all sizes will learn from your thoughtful and creative example.

  5. Thanks so much Cynthia! We are just starting it so it’s hard to say yet what everyone will do with their time, but I’m excited to see 🙂

  6. This sounds amazing! My current workplace is still caught up on the “work to the bone” tendency. I’m currently looking for something that will embrace a hard worker who also appareciates their employees need for their own time. Fingers crossed!!

  7. Loving this idea Joy! It all helps with employee retention too doesn’t it.
    This article reminded me of Google’s philosophy where their employees are encouraged to spend 20% of their time on their own projects. Gmail was borne out of this time given to employees!
    When I Shop

  8. Thanks Steph!
    I used to work at companies like that too and it’s fine when you’re young, but when you get older, it’s definitely a plus to have a work environment that supports your personal life as well!

  9. This is so awesome. I would use mine to take a sewing class making sure I came out of it with a garment and the skill to make something else


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